3. You have mapped out a strategy with your partner
If you are married and your spouse is also entitled to Social Security benefits, it may be helpful to devise a strategy for when each of you should be entitled.
In some cases, for example, it may make sense for the less-earning spouse to apply for benefits early, while the higher-earning spouse defers Social Security. This way, the two of you have some extra income in early retirement, but you can also take advantage of those bigger checks later in life, when your savings may be running out.
If one spouse dies first, the other may also be entitled to the full amount of the deceased spouse’s survivor benefits. If you have reason to believe that one of you is likely to outlive the other, it may make sense for one spouse to defer Social Security so that the surviving spouse can collect more in survivor benefits. While this topic may not be pleasant to think about, the right strategy can result in a much higher benefit later in life.
Social Security benefits can help you enjoy a more financially secure retirement, but choosing when to file a claim is a decision not to be taken lightly. Taking these steps to make sure you’re ready to file will help you retire in the best possible way.
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