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How to take advantage of your Social Security benefits

Do you want to know how your social security benefits are calculated and what they will be when you retire? You've arrived at the correct location, and you may do a few things to increase your social security benefits.

One of these is postponing your start date, which you may already know, but there are additional ways to improve the benefits.

How to take advantage of your Social Security benefits
Social Security benefits

Before examining these options, you must first obtain a social security card. Every US citizen is required to have this card.

You won't be able to take advantage of the benefits if you don't have a social security card. 

Continue reading to learn how to maximize your social security benefits and how to get a social security card if you don't already have one (anymore).

Additional Years of Work

Let's start with the most obvious: your Social Security benefits are calculated using the 35 years you worked and earned the most money. The amount is then adjusted for inflation, and your monthly benefits are calculated. If this will be one of your lower-earning years, you may choose to work for a more extended amount of time to increase your payments.

Suspension of Benefits

You can increase your monthly payments by suspending benefits if you already get them. If you wish to start getting gifts sooner than that, you can.

The full retirement age is 66 to 67 years old. However, be mindful that it may influence the income of those who are financially dependent on you and your benefits, such as a spouse or a minor child.

Possible Application Delay

Your return may improve if you apply for social security benefits between the earliest age possible, which is 62, and the full retirement age, which is 66 to 67, because delayed retirement may increase your payouts by 8% per year.

On the other hand, if you wait until you're 70 to apply, this may be advantageous.

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More Money

Another strategy to increase your monthly benefit payments is earning as much as possible, and this is known as "maxing out." This means you make at least $132,900 per year, the maximum amount due to the social security payroll tax. 

So, if you can maintain this level of output for the following 35 years, you'll be eligible for the most social benefits.

Benefits for Divorced Spouses 

Depending on your ex-salary, you may still qualify for spousal benefits if you're divorced and haven't remarried. 

When your partner reaches full retirement age, this might be as much as half of their pension. However, if you remarry or are under 62, you are not eligible.

How to Get an SSN

A social security card is required to apply for social security benefits. To qualify for a social security card, you must submit your birth certificate. If this is not possible for some reason, you can present your US passport, a birth certificate from a US hospital, or even a religious certificate showing your date of birth before the age of five.

You must also be present for an interview if you are 12 years old or older. There are some exceptions, and you may be required to present further proof to prove you don't have a social security number.

To apply for a social security card as an adult US citizen, you must submit proof of citizenship to the government. This might be a valid US passport, US birth certificate, or any other documentation that you were born in the United States.

On the other hand, additional documents may be accepted as proof of American citizenship. There are just a few documents that can be used to prove your identity, and they must meet specific requirements.

It must, for example, be a current document with your full name, additional identifying information such as your date of birth or age, and a recent photograph to confirm your identification. 

You might send a copy of your US driver's license or your US passport, for example. If you don't have these documents, you may be able to submit other credentials, such as an employee identification card or a school identification card.