• Question
  • How can I max out Social Security & increase retirement income?

    Asked by a 76 year old woman from Flagstaff, AZ on 12/4/2012

    Im getting my husband SS and his retirement. Am trying to work till Im 70 so I can get more SS than what I get from him. I just found out Im'entitled to some retirement from a former employer. but have no Idea how much. Right now I can barely make my bills in winter because utilities go so high. I'm looking for ways to increase my total income so I can retire.

  • Categories: Retirement Planning, Retirement Income


  • Editorial 


    San Francisco, CA

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  • Well... the good news is that you are doing a great number of things right!

    Working past the traditional retirement age is a proven way to make retirement more secure. Full time or part time work -- any work enables you to delay tapping into your savings and continue to fund your expenses.

    You are also doing a good job of maximizing your Social Security benefits. Taking your husband's Social Security now and then switching to your own benefits at your maximum retirement age is a very good strategy that does probably give you the most possible income.

    I urge you to contact your former employer directly to find out about those benefits.

    Additional things you might be able to do include:
    -- Eliminating your non mortgage debt. Have you considered using your savings or a home equity loan to pay off your "Other Debt?" It looks like you are currently paying almost 10 percent in interest on this debt. Most mortgages are well under 5 percent. This may be a great option for reducing your overall monthly expenses. You can explore cash out mortgage refinancing here:
    -----> http://www.newretirement.com/Services/Mortgage_Refinancing_Calculator.aspx

    -- Have you explored low income benefits? Many utilities offer special programs for seniors to help reduce heating costs. I would recommend that you contact your gas and electric company and ask them directly about these programs. Additional low income benefit and cost cutting information can be found here:
    -----> Low Income Benefits: http://www.newretirement.com/Services/Low_Income_Benefits.aspx
    -----> Reducing Expenses: http://www.newretirement.com/Services/Reducing_Expenses_to_Insure_Retirement_Security.aspx

    We hope that this has been useful. Please come back for any of your retirement questions.

  • Login to rate this answer:   Answered on 12/6/2012
**All above answers are provided as general information only. No warranty is made regarding the fitness or accuracy of the information provided in this answer. You should seek advice from a licensed CPA, attorney or CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ as to your unique financial situation.