Many people depend on Social Security for when they retire. However, the benefits program doesn’t replace your entire income. What many fail to realize is there are ways they can boost their Social Security benefits to get the most money possible when they are no longer able to continue working.

 

Stop Taking the Benefits

If you regret your decision to take early retirement, you may be eligible for a “do-over.” If you fill out Form 521 within the first 12 months of claiming your benefits, you can stop the benefits until a later date. The catch here is you must pay back everything you’ve received to qualify for the delayed retirement.

 

The ideal candidate for this option is someone who was offered a good paying job after applying for Social Security. They may decide to delay retirement and continue paying into the program and increase their benefits later on.

 

Work While Receiving Social Security Benefits

Most people know they are penalized if they earn over a certain amount after taking Social Security. They often limit their earnings to avoid this issue, but it can actually be a benefit. While money is withheld from your benefits now, it will be returned to you in the future when you reach full retirement age, which means a higher monthly payment.

 

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This option benefits those who need some extra income now so they continue working, but they want more later on when they can claim full retirement. Just make sure you budget correctly for the loss of benefits as your income exceeds the annual allowed amount.

 

Move to a New City

One of the best ways to boost your Social Security income is to move to a city or state with a lower cost-of-living. Consider places where rent, utilities and other living expenses are cheaper. This ensures that the money you receive stretches farther than if you stayed where you are right now.

 

Another consideration is state taxes. Thirteen states tax Social Security benefits, and they are not all the same. If you decide to move to a new location, factor this in so you can avoid paying taxes on your benefits.

 

Claim Children’s Benefits

In many households, adults waited until later to have kids or became guardians of their grandchildren. Once they reach early retirement age, their kids may be eligible to receive benefits on them up to half.

 

There are several ways this may occur, such as a child under the age of 18 or over this age and disabled. A parent who is a survivor of a deceased spouse may also qualify for their benefits with the children.

 

While delaying the filing of Social Security benefits until full retirement age is the best way to maximize the amount you will receive, it’s not the only way you can end up with a higher monthly payment. Determine if one or more of these options will work for you and plan ahead to ensure you can receive the most money possible once you retire.

 

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