happy couple planning for retirement

Social Security Tips for Couples

There’s so much that goes into planning for retirement and ensuring you have stability in those later years so you can enjoy them free of financial worry. What’s especially unique about planning for retirement is that no one’s situation will be the same. In terms of social security benefits, it’s worth taking the time to work with a trusted adviser who can help you make those important decisions early, so you can retire with confidence.  

The thing that’s great about social security is that it’s inflation-protected. So, as the cost of living increases, so will the benefits you can receive when you collect. But it’s not as easy as working until you’re in your 60’s and then receiving the maximum benefit. 

There are many factors to consider and these can change based on your marital status. Here are a few key social security tips for couples in 2022.

Understand Spousal Benefits

Whether you are married or single can play a significant role in how you claim social security benefits. It’s important to understand the rules of spousal benefits and how claiming at just the right time and with a strategic plan in place could change your benefit outcome. If you’re single, only your specified benefit initiation date must be considered. Longtime domestic partners are not considered married couples. However, when you are legally married you have a few options to consider. These are based on each person’s claim date and benefit amount and will mean choosing whether or not you should claim based on your own work record, or electing up to 50% of your spouse’s benefit amount. 

Married couples should be working together and coordinating their election options when it comes to social security benefits. 

Should You Work Past 62?

Another big question that comes about when you are starting to plan for retirement is at what age you will retire. Again, so many different factors can play into this decision. Things like long life expectancy and health can make it easier to delay claiming benefits. Every year past age 62 and up until 70 years old, there is an increase in the amount of benefits you can receive. Of course, this isn’t an option for everyone and the concern of outliving your benefits is also on the table. It’s important to have an open conversation with your spouse and to speak with a professional to guide you through the process. 

Planning for Survivor Benefits

The one topic no one really likes to talk about but is essential in this decision-making process is how death may impact the benefit of the surviving spouse. If your wish is to provide the maximum benefit for your wife or husband after you pass then delaying when you start claiming social security can provide them with a higher benefit.Ready to start working on your retirement planning? At Toomey Investment Management, Inc. we want to help you and your family. We work to effectively optimize your financial world.