7 Things You Must Know About Claiming Social Security

By |2021-06-30T00:19:37+00:00August 16th, 2021|Retirement Planning|

Social Security is a great program, but knowing when and how to claim your benefits can determine how much you collect.

Here are seven potential problems you need to consider so you can maximize your Social Security income.

1: Remarrying Before Age 60

If your spouse dies, you will be entitled, in most situations, to collect survivor Social Security benefits unless you remarry before the age of 60. After that, all social security benefits from your previous marriage will not be paid out.

It’s up to you to decide if this financial loss is worth it. Some people forgo legal marriage until after age 60.

2: Claiming Your Benefits Too Early

Claiming spousal benefits before the designated retirement age of 65-67 can reduce the amount of Social Security money you collect – indefinitely. This can vary based on many factors, so it’s important to talk to a financial professional.

3: Earning Additional Income

If you take another job or start an income-producing business while simultaneously collecting Social Security benefits, you may be taxed on those benefits.

It depends on how much you make from extra income. Know the tax consequences before taking on another source of income.

You can find out rates and details by contacting the Social Security Administration, IRS, or working with a qualified financial counselor.

4: Applying at the Wrong Time

It would help if you pinpointed when you apply for Social Security and depend on your circumstances.

In 2014, the SSA began sending workers statements to help them plan retirement. Read these statements carefully. Go over them with your financial counselor or an advisor at the Social Administration local office. Here is a link to help you find the closest local office near you: https://secure.ssa.gov/ICON/main.jsp

A side note: You can get Medicare before selecting Social Security retirement options.

5: Experiencing Government Cuts

Even though President Trump has promised to keep Social Security benefits, that could change. Political directions can change with the multitude of influencers in government and business. Nothing is guaranteed.

Keep your eye out for any policy changes.

6: Funding Running Out

NBC claims Social Security could run out by 2034, but this is mostly speculative, and there is much disagreement.  Numerous options exist to extend the benefit periods well into the next century, taxes could be raised to fund it further, or benefits could be reduced. However, issues with Social Security should get better with younger, lower-population generations. Baby Boomers entering retirement in record numbers have strained the system.

7: Start Saving

Do not rely on Social Security as your primary retirement vehicle. Instead, save enough to provide for retirement. You can do this through an IRA, 401(k), Bank CDs, bonds, annuities, simple savings account, or a combination.

Social Security can be confusing; seek help. First, call the Social Security Administration. You can even schedule a meeting with your local SSA office.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Premium gift for you for registering for my newsletter

I am a member of Syndicated Columnists, a national organization committed to a fully transparent approach to money.

Interested in additional information? Register for my FREE bi-monthly newsletter, "Layin' it on the line." It contains information that other people have found beneficial. I will never sell your information.

For registering, I have a Premium Gift for you.

Our 15th edition, “Safe Money Book” a $20 value

77,000 copies in circulation

Learn the basics of a Safe Money approach to investing.

And it is FREE with your "Layin' it on the line" newsletter

About the Author:

Lyle has actively taught advanced estate planning and asset preservation for more than twenty years in such places as the University of Utah and in over 200 Senior Retirement Consumer Education Workshops throughout Utah, Idaho and Wyoming. Websites: lyleboss.retirevillage.com | safemoneylyleboss.com

Office: (801) 475-9400 | Boss Financial & Insurance Services, LLC