PODCAST 84: 3 Things To Do That May Raise Your Social Security Checks

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Below is a transcription of the Ask Gregory Podcast 84 – 3 Things To Do That May Raise Your Social Security Checks

Gregory Ricks 0:00
Hey, welcome. I’m your host Gregory Ricks a financial advisor here to answer your questions and help you win with your money.

Podcast Intro / Outro 0:09
On today’s episode of the Ask Gregory podcast, Gregory is going to share three things that you can do right now, that may help increase your monthly Social Security benefits. We also have a complimentary download waiting for you on this topic, if you go to gregoryricks.com/podcast84. Again, that is gregoryricks.com/podcast84

Gregory Ricks 0:29
Three things you can do now, to get a higher social security check. People are often advised not to depend on Social Security too heavily during retirement, that’s because those benefits will only replace a portion of the paycheck you you used to receiving it’s kind of designed to replace about 40% of your income, not all of it. Now, if you’re a low income person, it is kind of designed to replace up to 90% on the first $1,000 of of average income over the 35 years, but most people are have more income than that. So ultimately, it’s designed to replace 40% of that income. But there’s still a good chance you’ll rely on Social Security for some degree. Once your work comes to an end, you know, or you’ve reached a eras of phrase life optional lifestyle where you may not want to work any longer and and you’re no longer collecting a paycheck. So that’s when Social Security is going to come into play in most people have social security benefits, but you don’t have to wait until retirement age to take steps to boost your Social Security income. And we’ll go over a few things to help you with that. One of the things I want to remind you of is signing up for your SSA account because I asked you a question. And yep, you don’t have to answer me back. But think about this. Have you seen your Social Security benefit statement lately? Have you? Well, they they just don’t send those out like they used to what’s easy has to go online and take a look at that. But first off, you have to set up your SS a account. So you’ve got to know a little bit about your personal credit history, because there’s going to be some questions to make sure it’s you signing up for that account. I would rather you sign up for your account than somebody else sign up for your account. That’s one of the reasons to do so. The another reason to do so is you can verify your credits to your W two each year. Are you being properly credited was that information entered correctly so that your benefits are accurate? Sometimes we’ve had callers call in over the years kind of like found that their benefits went down because their last year went down. Because what they did was go like why did my benefits go down? Well want to raise check to see if your credits were properly inputted into the system. And one of the callers said yeah, it was wrong by a lot. So they went about getting that corrected. So you have a little bit more than three years to get that corrected. So but if it’s you see an error four or five years ago, yeah, you’re not going to be able to get that corrected. So that’s an important reason. The other reason is you can go in and look at your benefits. And ultimately, you’re going to sign up for Social Security benefits to start the benefit checks and how are you probably going to do that you’re going to go on line to do that. So you might as well go ahead and set that up. So we get that out of the way first, so the amount of money so number one is to boost your income. So the amount of money you receive from Social Security retirement will hinge on career wages, if you’re able to boost your income you set yourself up for a higher monthly benefit. So it’s it’s basically used as your best 35 years it’s averaged monthly so it’s averaged over 420 months. You

and and it’s adjusted by cost of living If and if you’re working past 35 years, you’re likely to be replacing lower years with higher years. So for one thing, you can work on developing skills that help you make more money become a more valuable employee. And that can lead to more income, if you’re needing to boost even more about a side job or second job. And later in life, if you’re behind the curve, you you don’t have enough saved, you know, kind of two core things here. One, you do need to boost your income, you might need to work extra because you’re needing to save money because you’re going to need it in the future. And thus, that will also increase your benefits. The other part of that is defer turning on Social Security, as close or all the way to 70, if you can, that will boost your benefits if you don’t have enough money saved. Now, the other part of that is number two, which kind of what I alluded to there is extending your career, it may be the case that you’re nearing the end of your career and are earning more money than ever before. So if so, you have prime opportunity to get a higher social security benefit by maybe extending that because typically back end of our working lives, we’re making more a lot more money than we did on the front end. So we’re replacing lower earnings but with higher earnings in the formula Social Security uses to calculate retirement benefits. Plus working a bit longer at a higher salary could make it possible to pad other savings like emergency savings, investments, IRAs 401 K, even better yet, getting money into Roth accounts to create tax-free income in retirement. And number three, and this is why I suggested you set up your SSA account Social Security benefit account it’s at SS a.gov. Each year social security issues, all workers like summary of their earnings and an estimate of their future benefits based on their earnings. Checking your annual earnings statement could lead to a higher monthly benefit down the line. Although earnings statements are often accurate, that’s not always the case it’s possible your income might be under reported. So you want to get that corrected. If you review earnings statement every year and correct errors related to underreported income, it could lead to higher benefit in the future. And if you’re 60 or older, you should receive a copy of your earnings statement in the mail each year. So a higher benefit could be in your future. The more money you’re able to squeeze out of Social Security, the more comfortable a retirement you may be looking at it pays to take these steps to get a higher monthly benefit. And if you’re getting a higher monthly benefit and you do have savings, retirement savings, IRAs and such, then you’re leaning on that money last and it can go further. You know so one of the core things also is thinking about Social Security, how to Social Security, look at your benefit.

They look at it as the FRA number. You know that acronym that full retirement age is how Social Security looks at your benefit. If you defer past your fra it’s going to increase your benefit. If you start it before then it’s going to reduce your benefit. And if you started early, it’s locking it in there forward. It doesn’t give you a lesser benefit and upgrade it when you reach fra sometimes I get that question. No you you are deemed to have locked it in at that point and that’s what it’s going to be going forward. Subject to cost of living increases there’s not going to be some point they upgrade you to what you would have got gotten if you had waited it’s locked in. At fra you’re locking it in at your 100% benefit. If you defer past fra to his latest 70 assists late as you can increase benefit by deferring. You will lock in that benefit there after. This is also profound him impact on survivor benefits and spousal benefits. Those are things to consider as well when you’re turning on your benefit. But we all should understand that this is a part. This is this is one of our income sources for retirement. And we need to take due care of managing that and make good decisions on that and not take it lightly and don’t say, Well, it’s my money, I want to start it now. One of the things we do at our firm in my day job as a social security analysis, we want to look at those options that you have every year going forward. So if you are, say, working with us, and you’re 58 We’re going to run that analysis every year in the strategy meeting to see how things are looking. And situations can change you shouldn’t just look at and say okay, I’m all started at 68 and a half. This is something that should be looked at every year, until each of you in the household have actually turned on the benefits.

Podcast Intro / Outro 11:12
Thanks, everyone for tuning in to this week’s episode of the Ask Gregory Podcast. Don’t forget we’ve got a complimentary download waiting for you on this topic. If you go to gregoryricks.com/podcast84. Again, that’s gregoryricks.com/podcast84

Gregory Ricks 11:29
Thanks so much for listening to Ask Gregory where we answer your financial questions. You can find us anywhere Podcasts can be found and on YouTube and Facebook Live every Saturday from 10 to 1. If you love this podcast, subscribe, leave a review and tune in next time.

Podcast Intro / Outro 11:48
Gregory Ricks & Associates is an independent financial services firm that utilizes a variety of investment and insurance products. Investment advisory services offered only by duly registered individuals through AE Wealth Management, LLC (AEWM). AEWM and Gregory Ricks & Associates are not affiliated companies. Gregory Ricks & Associates, The Total Wealth Authority is our trademarked tagline, it does not promise or guarantee investment results or preservation of principal nor does it represent a certain level of skill. Investing involves risk, including the potential loss of principal. Any references to protection, safety or lifetime income, generally refer to fixed insurance products, never securities or investments. Insurance guarantees are backed by the financial strength and claims paying abilities of the issuing carrier. This radio show is intended for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions, nor should it be construed as advice designed to meet the particular needs of an individual’s situation. Gregory Ricks & Associates is not permitted to offer and no statement made during this show shall constitute tax or legal advice. Our firm is not affiliated with or endorsed by the U.S. Government or any governmental agency. The information and opinions contained herein provided by third parties have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed by Gregory Ricks & Associates. Any media logos and/or trademarks contained herein are the property of their respective owners and no endorsement by those owners of Gregory Ricks & Associates is stated or implied Gregory Ricks & Associates has a strategic partnership with tax professionals and attorneys who can provide tax and/or legal advice. AEWM, Gregory Ricks & Associates, WJ Blanchard Law, LLC, J Heath & Co. and Mortgage Gumbo are not affiliated companies. This show is a paid placement.