Living on Social Security alone needs some courage and some creativity. These strategies can help you successfully navigate your finances during retirement.
Not all of these measures will be easy to take, but if they can be done, you will find it much simpler to live comfortably on your Social Security.
Delay Taking Social Security: Consider Waiting until You’re 70
Although you can collect Social Security at 62, your monthly benefits can be much higher if you wait until the full retirement age, which is between 65 to 67, depending on the year you were born. If possible, delay collecting your Social Security until age 70, which will result in you receiving your maximum Social Security benefits.
If You’ve Filed for Social Security Early, Consider Withdrawing Your Claim
If you had filed your claim earlier without being aware of the benefits of claiming your Social Security at a later stage, it’s not too late. You can still withdraw your claim and restart at a later date, provided it was filed within the past 12 months. But keep in mind, if you withdraw, you must repay all the benefits you received up to that point.
Relocate to a Neighborhood with a Lower Cost of Living
If you live in a more expensive locality, consider relocating to an area with a lower cost of living since it will allow your Social Security benefits to stretch further.
Eliminate Any Debts before Retiring
Paying off debts before retirement (credit card bills, mortgages, etc.) is a great way to maximize your Social Security income. This way, you needn’t spend the benefits on things you purchased in the past, but enjoy the money on your present day-to-day needs.
Invest in an AARP Membership
An AARP membership is available to anyone aged 50 and up and costs $16 a year. But the benefits are attractive. AARP members get savings on health and wellness expenses, entertainment, shopping, restaurants, and community memberships that are more than your regular senior discounts. The innumerable discounts received can actually earn you the membership fee back plus more.
Plan to Maximize Spouse Benefits
If one member of a married couple dies, their spouse will not receive two Social Security checks. However, the widow or widower can receive their loved one’s benefits instead of their own if the benefits are higher compared to the surviving spouse. While it may be difficult to plan for this eventuality, if the higher earner in the couple retires later, the Social Security check received by their spouse will receive the highest benefits possible.
Move to a Retirement Community
There are affordable and good retirement communities out there with various facilities and members of the same age. Therefore, if you are planning to relocate, moving into such a retirement community could be a wise decision rather than purchasing a new home in the area. It will also help socialize with other people and reduce the chances of isolation and loneliness.
At Briteside Solutions, we believe that adequate financial knowledge can enable people to better manage their money and improve their quality of life. Our Certified Financial Educators offer social and financial education to consumers and educate them about their rights to prevent financial hardships. Visit our website today to learn more.