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Stas Politis, CPFA®
Stas Politis, CPFA®
Upward Wealth Group, LLC Employer-Sponsored Plan Advisor & Investment Representative
https://www.upwardwealthgroup.com (561) 345-3992

At Upward Wealth Group, we understand the critical role of employer-sponsored plans in talent retention and employee financial well-being. By reducing financial stress, these plans foster a healthier work environment and enhance productivity and performance. With our tailored approach, we ensure that your company's retirement plan is not just effective but also aligned with your organizational goals.

Our services cater to a diverse clientele, including self-employed professionals, entrepreneurs, business owners, and executives/trustees seeking to optimize their retirement savings. With decades of experience and a commitment to personalized solutions, we specialize in crafting employer-sponsored retirement plans that suit your specific requirements. Whether you prefer a straightforward, easy-to-administer plan or a more intricate one tailored to your unique circumstances, we've got you covered.

Given their substantial contribution to our retirement nest eggs, we recognize the significance of 401(k) plans in retirement planning. It's essential to synchronize all your savings and investments inside and outside employer-sponsored retirement plans to maximize their combined potential in achieving your retirement objectives. By harmonizing these elements, we can build a comprehensive portfolio that works synergistically toward securing your financial future.

Let's collaborate to design a retirement plan that meets regulatory requirements, empowers your employees, and positions your business for long-term success. Reach out to us today to embark on this journey toward financial security and prosperity.

Social Security: Maximizing Benefits

Retirement Read Time: 4 min

Most understand that waiting to claim Social Security benefits can result in higher monthly payments. However, many don't know that there are other ways to maximize their benefits, some of which depend on their marital status.

Understanding the strategies for maximizing your Social Security retirement income benefits should be prefaced with a review of the three basic forms of retirement benefits:

  1. The Worker Benefit: This is the benefit you receive based on your own personal earnings history and for which you become eligible after 40 quarters of work.
  2. The Spousal Benefit: This is the benefit paid to your spouse. For non-working spouses, this is 50% of the working spouse's benefit. For working spouses, it is the greater of the benefit earned from his or her earnings or 50% of the worker's benefit.
  3. The Survivor Benefit: This is the benefit paid to the surviving spouse, which is paid at a rate equal to the greater of his or her own current benefit or, depending on the widow or widower's age, up to 100 % of the deceased spouse's current benefit.1

The first and most obvious strategy for maximizing your Social Security benefit is to simply wait to reach age 70 before beginning to take benefits. By waiting until age 70 to receive benefits, your monthly payments may increase by 24%, not including any cost of living increases that may be added to this amount.2

Benefit Maximization Strategies for Widows and Widowers

Remember, there is no spousal benefit for a widow/widower, but he or she does qualify for a survivor benefit that is equal to 100% of the deceased spouse's benefit (versus the 50% spousal benefit if the working spouse is still alive). This survivor benefit is available at age 60 or even earlier, depending on the widow/widower's disability status and whether or not they are caring for a child.1

If you are widowed and also have worked for 40 quarters, you will have a worker benefit and a survivor benefit. This presents you with several choices. One choice is to file for the benefit that provides you with the greatest monthly benefit amount.

Another choice may be to start your worker benefit at age 62 and then switch to the survivor benefit once you reach full retirement age. This option is advantageous in instances where the widowed spouse did not accumulate the same level of benefits as the deceased spouse. Choosing this option allows the surviving spouse to take the higher survivor benefit amount. Because there are no delayed retirement credits earned on survivor benefits, there is no advantage to waiting past full retirement age to apply for survivor benefits.3

A final choice is to consider starting the survivor benefit at age 60 and then switching to your own worker benefit at age 70. This strategy allows you to begin receiving income based on the survivor benefit as early as possible and provides you time to build up the maximum worker benefit.

As you can see, there are ways you can potentially raise your Social Security benefits. These strategies can help you maximize your benefits beyond what is available to those who simply delay retirement to age 70.

1. SSA.gov, 2023
2. SSA.gov, 2023
3. Kiplinger.com, March 29, 2023

The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG Suite is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright FMG Suite.

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