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Social protection: 5 ways to increase your pension checks

When it comes to preparing for a financially comfortable retirement, you will have to plan in advance.

It is important to take advantage of your social security, in particular. To increase your retirement income, you do not want to collect too early or make major decisions about life without considering the potential financial damage that it might have on your savings.

"Social insurance is mostly a" pay-how-go "program, which means that today's workers pay a social security tax on the program, and the money is returned as a monthly income to beneficiaries," the National Academy of Social Security online explains, adding that approximately 170 million Americans pay social security taxes, and more than 60 million people collect benefits every month.


In 2017, the average retired worker reportedly received nearly $ 1,400 per month in social insurance. This number varies based on the person's status (ie Employee with disability, widow or widow, etc.).

Social insurance is different from traditional retirement – a set plan for a company that provides a guaranteed income for living. These types of packages are scarce today – only about 20% of the private sector workforce still has traditional pensions, according to figures from the year 2018 that was collected by Forbes.

"Bearing in mind today's longevity, it's more important than ever to maximize your benefit from social security. Think about it as an annuity for life," said Charlotte A. Dougherty, founder of Dougherti & Associates in Cincinnati.

"Think of it as an annuity for your life."

Charlotte A. Dougherty

It is particularly important to stay educated about social insurance, as programs increasingly face the threat of long-term insolvency. According to an official forecast released at the end of April, the 84-year social insurance program will only be able to pay up to 80 percent of benefits promised in 2035.

"About 2034, or you will need to sharply reduce social assistance or increase taxes to fundamentally retain benefits as they are," MarketVatch Brett Arends columnist for FOKS Business Neil Cavuto said on time.

Social Security and Medicare currently account for 45% of federal spending in the US. Economists also predicted that the cost of the rights-realization program would be approximately 8.7% of GDP in 2019.


"The population of the elderly, the older people vote more … I do not think anyone will be able to stand for a promise to reduce social security of people when so many people depend on it," Arends added.

For those planning to retire in the near future, here are five ways to take advantage of the social security benefits you offer.

Work for at least 35 years

The age you officially stop working affects the amount of money you receive. So, many financial experts recommend working for 35 years – if not more.

Social Insurance "calculates your average monthly income over the 35 years in which you earn the highest," the Social Security Department (SSA) said in a report for 2019. "We apply the formula to these earnings and reach your basic benefit, or" the basic amount of insurance. " "

In this case, time is your friend. It gives you the chance to increase your average salary, which will replace the lower income periods in the SSA calculation.

"If you stop working before you get 35 years of earnings, we use zero for every year without earnings when we are doing our calculations to determine the amount of pension benefits you owe," the SSA said on its website.

Disposal, disposal, delay

If you decide to postpone retirement after age 65, then you could see a noticeable increase in benefits. The SSA says it will increase your fee until you begin to receive checks or until you recharge 70 years.

According to Investopedia, the amount of fees increases by around 8% every year when you postpone up to 70 points.

Those who do not withdraw as soon as they are 65 will still need to apply for Medicare benefits "within three months" from their 65th birthday to avoid paying more in the long run, recommends the SSA.

Do not take benefits before 65

Technically, you can start receiving benefits for up to 62 years, but SSA advises against this option.

"If you start receiving benefits early, your benefits are reduced in percent for each month before your full age limit," says SSA.

Think about your wife

If you are married, you may be able to take advantage of the benefits of your spouse – even if you have never worked within a social security scheme.

According to NerdVallet, a spouse (born before 1954) can earn up to 50 percent of what she receives the highest income in the household for 65 years.

"If you qualify and apply for your own pension benefits and benefits as a spouse, we always pay your own benefits first." If your benefits as spouses are greater than your own retirement benefits, you will get a combination of benefits equal to the well-being of spouses, "says SSA.

Think about moving

The age limit for retirement is a great time to consider the big move, especially if you live in a country that is taxing social security benefits.

So far, at least 13 countries have imposed taxes on social insurance benefits. Among them are Colorado, Connecticut, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, and West Virginia. In February, the 14th state – Illinois – allegedly said it was considering a state tax on income from social benefits.

Although it may sound cliché, The Motlei Fool says Florida and Nevada are very good options for retirees.

Fok Business Elise Oggioni contributed to this report.

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