• How Seniors Can Make the Most Out of Social Security

  • by Kristen Curzytek

Today more than 38 million retirees and their family members rely on Social Security to help with their everyday expenses. According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, 40 percent of retiree’s income comes from Social Security.  For many seniors Social Security is an important asset for assisting retirement planning. Here are some important tips for making the most out of Social Security benefits.

Supplement your Social Security with a reverse mortgage – If you cannot delay Social Security benefits to age 70 because your retirement fund does not give you that flexibility an easy way to supplement your retirement until the max benefit age of 70 is with a reverse mortgage.

A reverse mortgage allows people age 62 and older the ability to utilize some equity from their home. To qualify for a reverse mortgage you must 62 or older, must reside in your home as your primary residence and have sufficient equity in your home. The money you receive from your reverse mortgage can be used for anything. Proceeds from a reverse mortgage are also not considered taxable income which will not affect Social Security.*

The reverse mortgage loan is insured by the federal government and has been helping seniors stay in the home they love. Thousands of people nationwide have taken advantage of the reverse mortgage program. Some of the benefits of the reverse mortgage loan:

  • No monthly mortgage payments**
  • The money you receive is tax-free*** and can be used for anything
  • Does not affect Social Security
  • You still own your home****

Qualifying is easy. A licensed expert will walk you through the process and answer any questions you may have along the way.

Understand how taxes affect Social Security – You will have to pay taxes on your Social Security benefits if you make over a certain amount of money annually. For individuals making more than $25,000 a year you can expect to pay taxes. For joint parties with a total income of more than $32,000 a year you can expect to pay taxes.

Take a part time job – One way to make the most out of your Social Security benefits is to continue working or find a part-time job if you are already retired. But be careful, if you earn more than a certain amount within a fiscal year you could end up losing $1 for every $2 you go over the limit. With each passing year the total you can earn will change. Be sure to check out ssa.gov for more information.

Delay as long as you can – You can start collecting your Social Security benefits as early as age 62. Or you can wait until age 70 (the latest you can delay). Typically if you delay collecting Social Security your amount you are eligible for will increase each year you delay up to age 70. According to the Social Security benefits website, a person born between 1943 and 1954 who started collecting benefits at age 62 will only receive 75 percent of the benefit they would have received if they delayed collecting  Social Security to age 66. If the same person delays even longer to age 70 benefits would increase 32 percent more than at age 66. Those who delay collection Social Security see an average annual increase in their benefits anywhere between 3-8 percent over those who collected earlier. For a full break down of the delayed Social Security options please visit ssa.gov.

 

Kristen Curzytek is a writer for Retiring Wise.  Give us a call at (800) 401-8114 to talk to one of our licensed professionals. They can discuss your financial situation with you and determine if a reverse mortgage makes sense for you and your financial goals.

 

* May affect SSI or Medicaid. Please consult with your financial advisor.

**Homeowner is still responsible for taxes, insurance and maintenance.

***Please consult with your financial advisor.

****You remain responsible for counseling costs, taxes, insurance and maintenance expenses.