After spending 10 years in the workforce, you should celebrate, rejoice, and reflect on retirement achievements. However, for many people, it is easier said done as pensions have fallen to the wayside. Before you breathe a sigh of relief that you have come a long way, you need to ensure that you have enough money or income in retirement.  

That is to say, Social Security has become a crucial part of people’s financial planning more than ever. The more you pay attention to the aspects and benefits of Social Security, you begin to understand how complicated they are.

But, did you know you can have much more control over your benefit amount if you know how to do your Social security planning?

If you don’t know how, here is what you can do to maximize the benefits of your social security plan.


Reap the Benefits of Social Security Planning

Complete 35 Years of Work

To become eligible to get Social Security, you need to accumulate forty credits over your work history. Note that you can maximum earn four credits a year. That means your ten years of working can make you eligible for Social Security. 

Although you can collect benefits after completing ten years, the Social Security admin typically determines monthly benefits by taking out an average of 35 years of income. That means if you have worked for ten years only, your average will have 25 years with no earning. It will reduce your monthly benefit significantly.


Delay your Social Security Benefits

This may sound bizarre to you, but it can maximize your Social Security benefits. All you need is to wait to claim your Social Security benefits until you turn 70. Social Security can reward you with large monthly benefits annually when you wait to collect your FRA (Full Retirement Age).

If you don’t think that the additional cash is worth your wait, you may want to reconsider after realizing that it offers a guaranteed 8 percent increase in monthly payout. 


Include Spousal Benefits

If you are married, you will be eligible for Social Security spousal benefits. This is one of the key factors in Social Security planning because you can claim 50 percent of the spouse’s benefit. 


File After FRA (Full Retirement Age)

FRA (Full Retirement Age) refers to the age when someone becomes eligible to file and receive full Social Security benefits monthly. You might want to file for Social Security before time, but waiting until FRA can get you a higher benefit in older years.

For instance, you were born in 1945, filing social security benefits at the age of 60 instead of 66 (FRA age limit) reduces monthly payout by 25 percent. Imagine your $1000 check going down to $750; it makes a huge difference.


Bottom Line

All in all, having your Social Security benefits reduced is a significant financial load in retirement. It can affect your financial planning and create obstacles in life. It is better to seek help from professionals to help you take full advantage of your Social Security benefits and remove potential complications.  








Any opinions are those of the author and not necessarily those of Raymond James.  The information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but Raymond James does not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. Raymond James and its advisors do not offer tax or legal advice. You should discuss any tax or legal matters with the appropriate professional.