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5 Ways to Boost Social Security Income

By on August 23, 2011
Social Security Card

Forget about babyboomers for a second. Attention Gen Xers! It’s never too soon to think about your retirement years and the life you want to live in retirement. You can boost your social security income and we are going to give you 7 ways to do it! So read and tweet this to your friends and increase your cool points.

Delay your payout date

The age you first sign up for Social Security can impact the payout you will receive for the rest of your life. Here are some strategies to maximize your monthly benefit. There’s another reason why you may want to wait. If you’re still working and haven’t reached your full retirement age, your benefits are reduced by $1 for  every $2 you earn above $14,160.

Consider a restart

Social Security allows you to start benefits at one age, and then restart them at a higher level years later — provided you pay back all the money you’ve received already. This is an important point, so choose wisely. You don’t even have to pay interest. It all adds up to a large interest-free loan, and could be a strategy worth pursuing if you’re confident you’ll have the money available when you’re ready to restart and give yourself a raise.

Pay attention to taxes

Once you’ve started receiving benefits, you’ll owe taxes on a portion if your total income — which includes investment earnings, pension payouts, wages, tax-exempt interest and half of your Social Security income itself — is higher than these government thresholds.

Kill your debts

Social Security benefits are protected from most debt collections, but they can be garnished to collect unpaid federal taxes, federal student loan balances and even child support or alimony.

Make your military service count

If you served on active duty between 1957 and 2001, you’re entitled to special extra earnings that could increase your Social Security payout. If your service was between 1957 and 1967, you’ll need to make sure the credits are added to your record at the time you apply for benefits. Those who served from 1968 and 2001 will automatically receive credit.

It’s highly important to understand the complex rules governing Social Security payouts and know they could change in the future. Consider your own financial circumstances and consult with your tax, legal or financial planning professional. Check out the IRS website for tax information at irs.gov/.

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