How do you maximize your Social Security benefits?


Quick Answer

To maximize your Social Security benefits, wait a longer period before you start collecting, make use of spousal benefits, don't file for two benefits at once, and don't remarry before the age of 60, advises CNN Money. Other more unorthodox methods include considering divorce, because both members of a divorced couple are eligible for spousal benefits.

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Full Answer

The most effective way to increase your benefits is to wait to start collecting until the age of 70 when the benefits from thereon are the largest, according to CNN Money. Payments that begin at age 70 are 76 percent greater than those received if collecting from the earliest allowed date, when the recipient is 62. There are no advantages for waiting until after you are 70, because there are no increases in benefits from that point. If you are married, divorced or widowed, you may also be eligible for spousal benefits

You receive spousal benefits if the other spouse meets certain requirements; among them is that they cannot be remarried before the age of 60, points out CNN Money. Even if you are a widow or widower, you cannot claim spousal benefits if you remarry before 60 and remain remarried afterwards. Spousal benefits in some ways are more advantageous to divorced couples who remain divorced until after the age of 60, the only instance in which both spouses can claim spousal benefits.

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