Social security is one of those topics that seems to be minimized by statements like, “You can’t count on it,” and “By the time you reach retirement age, it won’t matter.” These statements are not only incorrect; they contribute toward a lack of education on what’s possible.
Social security is still a large part of how most seniors will be able to fund their final 20 to 30 years of life. The options we take toward claiming the benefits that are rightly ours are often permanent. They can affect our lives and our finances significantly, often by tens of thousands of dollars.
For retirement purposes, most people will claim their social security payouts any time from age 62 to age 70. It’s your choice to decide when you make the claim and start your benefits. But, and it’s a very big but, the amount you get each month will vary depending on your claim date. Generally, the later you wait, the higher your payout will be.
The amount of your social security payment is affected by dozens of factors, including family members’ ages, how much they paid into social security, pensions, previous marriages, and disabilities, to name a few. If any of your family members are disabled, there are payments for that in some cases.
If you are divorced and were married for more than 10 years, you are eligible for spousal benefits . And if you are married, you are also eligible for spousal benefits. If your spouse has passed away, you are eligible for survival benefits. It could increase an existing payment if your spouse earned more than you did.