3 Tips to Help Married Couples Reach Their Retirement Goals Faster Personal finance


How much each person receives depends on several factors, including their income during their working years and when registering. Each person has a full retirement age (FRA) assigned according to their year of birth. For most workers today, it is between 66 and 67. Signing up before your FRA means more years of benefits, but every check you receive is smaller. Deferring benefits, on the other hand, increases the size of your checks until you turn 70, but you will receive benefits for fewer years.

The right Social Security claims strategy depends on the lifespan of each partner. Those who think they are under 80 years old often have an interest in enrolling early, while those who expect to live longer generally receive greater lifetime benefits by delaying.

But just because you want to delay doesn’t mean you always can. Sometimes financial pressures force people to register for Social Security early, even if they don’t want to. There’s not much single adults can do about it, but married couples can still get a lot out of the program with the right strategy.

When both partners have earned similar amounts over the course of their lives, it makes sense for each of them to delay benefits for as long as possible. But if one person earned a lot more than the other, it’s not always a problem for the low-income person to claim early. This may allow the higher income to delay benefits, and then, when enrolling, the lower income will automatically receive a spousal benefit if it is worth more than what they collect on their own.

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