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.
Here’s how it works. Matt is 67 and Lauren is 63. Each is eligible for a benefit of $2,000 at age 66, their Full Retirement Age. Matt is waiting til age 70 to claim when his benefit will be 32% greater, or $2,640 per month…usually a plan that pays off in the long run. For the same reasons it makes sense for Lauren to wait to claim her maximum benefit at age 70.
Not many people understand how and why they should wait to claim at 70. But Matt and Lauren do. However, here’s what they may not know: There’s also a way for Lauren to qualify to make a special claim at age 66. If she files correctly, it will allow her to collect even more money…an extra $1,000 a month in fact.
Here’s the kicker: This benefit is not automatic. Lauren needs to know exactly how and when to file for this special benefit. If she fails to do so in a timely fashion, she won’t get it. And the fact is, most people like Lauren don’t even know they qualify for it.
Unfortunately, baby boomers suffer from a severe lack of education when it comes to their Social Security benefit-claiming options. As a consequence, single folks end up leaving tens of thousands of dollars in benefits on the table; for married couples the cost in lost benefits commonly exceeds $100,000.
In fact, for over 80% of soon-to-be retirees, Social Security represents the single most valuable financial asset they will have available to them throughout their retirement. That’s right, more valuable than the sum of all their savings and retirement accounts, and more valuable than the equity in their homes.
We invest considerable time and money in managing our savings and in taking care of our homes. Yet we spend almost no time learning to understand how to get the most out of our Social Security benefits.
Failing to understand the special claiming strategy outlined above is just one of the many ways in which we can lose out on the benefits we have earned: There are many others.
Ignorance about the Social Security program is a strategy that is bound to lose. To be sure we don’t miss out on our valuable benefits there is no alternative but to get educated about how this program works. The best time to do that is well before you reach age 62. The best plan is to get educated now.
That’s why I’ve written a book especially for International Living readers…to help you fully understand how to get the most out of what’s yours when it comes to your Social Security. In it, you’ll discover more about the strategy I’ve just told you about for claiming thousands of extra dollars in Social Security…why women have the most to gain by understanding claiming strategies…how many men inadvertently short-change their wives (they wouldn’t if they fully understood the impact of their claiming decisions), and much more.
Find out how you can claim your free copy of my book here.