Many people believe that Social Security will contact them if or when they qualify for a benefit, or a change in benefits. Too often, this is not the case. By policy, Social Security staff are trained not to advise us on how to get the most from our benefits. Instead, they just answer our questions, and sign us up. Here are a few examples of what I mean...
Each year, the Trustees for the Social Security program peer out 75 years or more into the future to see how the program will fare. They compare projected income from taxes and interest on the Social Security Trust Fund with expenses—mostly benefit payments.
If you are looking to maximize your cumulative potential lifetime benefits it almost always works best to claim your benefits at age 70. However, life is not just about maximizing potential income.
The Social Security program is misunderstood by most people...and this can lead to claiming mistakes that commonly cost single people tens of thousands of dollars in cumulative lifetime benefits.
Millions of baby boomers qualify for valuable Social Security claiming options that can provide tens of thousands of dollars in additional benefits. Yet most will never receive these benefits, even though they qualify for them. How can this be so? It’s because there are so many rules, they are complicated, and people don’t understand how they work.
Most people think that Social Security is “set-it-and-forget-it”: Once you start up your benefits it’s a “done deal” from there on. Unfortunately, most of us “set-it-and-forget-it” without first understanding how the program works. The result is usually a costly loss in cumulative lifetime benefits. Yet our initial claim doesn’t have to always result in a “done deal”: This is a mistaken impression that leads to all manner of errors...and loss in benefits.
Millions of baby boomers qualify for a valuable Social Security claiming option that can provide them as much as $63,336 in extra benefits...yet they don’t know it. In fact, the great majority of working couples, where one or both spouses reached age 62 on or before January 1, 2016, can still make use of this unusual strategy.