When it comes to retirement, unless you’re rich, you’re worried about whether you’ll have enough. We all are.
That’s why it’s crucial to take steps now to maximize your Social Security and minimize your pre- and post-retirement expenses.
Here’s a list of simple things to explore that could bring you more retirement money. Start with how to get more Social Security, then read the rest of the tips. They won’t all work for everyone, but read them all. There’s bound to be something that will work for you.
How to squeeze more out of Social Security
The average monthly Social Security retirement check for 2023 is $1,827. Doesn’t sound like much, does it?
We wish there was a magic bullet to radically increase your benefit. Alas, there isn’t. But there are a few things you can do to get more out of Social Security. Here are the main ones:
- Hold off till 70: If you can wait until 70 to start your payments, you’ll get 32% more monthly than you’d get at your full retirement age, and about 77% more than if you take it early, at 62. Notice we didn’t say “work until you’re 70.” If you’ve got a 401(k) or other retirement savings you can live off of, you can still retire. And you don’t have to wait all the way to 70 — every year you wait adds 8% to every check for life.
- Marry well: Generally once you’re married to someone for a year, you’re entitled to half their benefit amount, or all of yours, whichever is greater. So if you marry someone whose benefit is $3,000/month, you’re entitled to a minimum of $1,500, no matter how small your personal benefit. And should that spouse die when you’re at full retirement age, you’re entitled to 100% of their benefit as a survivor.
- Work longer: Social Security is computed based on your highest 35 years of earnings. If you’ve only paid into the program for 34 years, it will benefit you to tough it out for one more.
- Earn more: We know what you’re thinking. Duh. But if you’re earning less than this year’s maximum Social Security wage base of $160,200, and you’re nearing the end of your career, ask for a raise. It can’t hurt, and it could mean higher checks for life.
We hope some of these tips will help you get the most from your Social Security. But whether they do or not, here are several more ideas to put more gold in your golden years.
1. Turn your mortgage payment into a monthly payday
You’ve spent years maintaining and building equity in your home. Now it’s time for your home to pay you back.
A reverse mortgage is a government-insured loan that lets homeowners 62 and older convert their home equity into cash, but without selling their home. Take the money however you’d like: monthly, lump sum or line of credit. Use it however you’d like: home repairs, bills, traveling or simply living a better life.
Your home remains yours. You hold the title until you die or choose to move elsewhere, as long as you maintain the home. When you leave the house, the loan is repaid.
A reverse mortgage can make a huge difference in your quality of life. But they’re not for everyone, so it’s important to get more information. Also important: Not all lenders are equal. Be careful who you deal with.
One lender that’s highly rated and happy to answer questions is Longbridge Financial. They’ve earned 4.8 of a possible 5 stars from Trustpilot, and Consumers Advocate says, “By far the best online experience and tools among all the reverse mortgage lenders we reviewed.”
If you’re 62 or over and have equity in your home, at least need to see what your options are and what you might get.
Click Here for Some Friendly, Free No-Obligation Information
2. Get a second set of eyes
Your money is obviously super important. Which is why you spend so much time and energy fretting over it.
But there comes a time in life when it makes sense to get a second opinion. Sure, you’ve been successful at growing and managing your savings. But the more you have, the more attention your savings require and the greater the ramifications of screwing up.
A Vanguard study found that, on average, a hypothetical $500,000 investment over 25 years would grow to $1.7 million if you manage it yourself, but more than $3.4 million if you work with a professional.
Obviously, there are no guarantees a professional will do better than you. But getting a second opinion from a pro certainly can’t hurt. Even if you don’t need help picking investments, they can help you create a plan, maximize your Social Security, protect your assets and offer peace of mind by ensuring you’re on the right track.
They can also be there in case one day you’re not.
These days, there are no-cost online services that make it easier than ever to find vetted financial advisers in your area. For example, SmartAsset. You fill out a short questionnaire and are instantly matched with up to three local fiduciary financial advisers, all legally bound to work in your best interests.
The process only takes a few minutes, and in many cases you’ll be offered a free consultation. What can it hurt?
Please carefully review the methodologies employed in the Vanguard white paper, “Putting a Value on your Value: Quantifying Vanguard Advisor’s Alpha.”
Take a Minute and Check it Out Right Now
3. Try a newsletter custom-made for you
We’ve been in the business of offering money news and advice to mature Americans for 32 years. Every day, in the Money Talks Newsletter we provide tips and advice to save more, invest like a pro and lead a richer, fuller life.
And it doesn’t cost a dime.
Our readers report saving an average of $941 with our simple, direct advice, as well as finding new ways to stay healthy and enjoy life.
Click here to sign up. It only takes two seconds. And if you don’t like it, it only takes two seconds to unsubscribe. Don’t worry about spam: We never share your email address.
Try it. You’ll be glad you did!
4. Dump your overpriced car insurer
If you’re like most Americans, you’re probably paying too much for car insurance. But shopping around for a better deal can be a hassle.
Or is it?
Take a few seconds and check out Provide Insurance, the largest online marketplace for insurance in the U.S. Provide Insurance lets you compare quotes from more than 175 different carriers in the blink of an eye.
Just answer a few questions about yourself and your driving history. Then Provide will show you the best options for your needs and budget.
You could save up to $610 a year on car insurance by using the Provide marketplace. That’s money you could use for traveling, paying down debt or simply having more fun.
See How Much You Could Save Today
5. Hedge your bets
If a large part of your savings is in the stock market — as it should be — you’re well aware that what goes up can also go down; sometimes by a lot.
You can’t control the stock market or the world economy. But you can hedge against uncertainty by having other forms of wealth.
The oldest and most ubiquitous hedge is gold. It’s been used for thousands of years to protect against everything from inflation to currency devaluation to political risk.
Don’t go overboard; most pros advise putting only about 10% of your portfolio into the King Midas metal.
And keep in mind that not everyone in the gold business is on the up-and-up. Be careful whom you deal with.
Oxford Gold Group is one company to consider. They allow you to invest in a Gold IRA that adheres to Internal Revenue Service regulations. They also offer gold bars and coins, as well as silver (including silver IRAs), platinum and palladium.
Oxford has a 4.9-star rating (out of five stars) on Trustpilot, where 96% of reviewers call the company “excellent” and 4% call it “great.”
Oxford has an AA rating with the Business Consumer Alliance and an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.
If you’ve ever thought of investing in gold, give Oxford Gold a try.
Request Your Free Investors Guide Now
6. Pay less for travel and dining
The less you pay, the more you can do. You can save hundreds every year simply by joining AARP.
Members get discounts on hundreds of things, like:
- Up to $200 per person off flights
- Up to 30% off rental cars
- Up to 15% off restaurants
- Up to 20% off hotels
You’ll also save on eyeglasses, prescriptions, meal deliveries and lots more. And that’s not all. AARP offers a Fraud Watch Network, job listings, retirement planning tools, games and tons of information, programs and resources.
Anyone trying to save more and spend less can’t afford not to join AARP, especially since the cost is as low as $12 per year with auto-renewal. You’ll likely recoup the cost in the first week.
They even give you a free gift to sign up!
Create an Account and Get Started Saving Today
7. Destroy your credit card debt
We all set out to retire debt-free. A worthy goal, but one not everyone can achieve. If you’ve got a debt problem, the sooner you deal with it, the better.
National Debt Relief is one of the most respected providers of debt relief in the country.
They’ve helped more than 500,000 people, are A+ rated by the Better Business Bureau and also top-rated by Top Consumer Reviews, Top Ten Reviews, Consumers Advocate and Consumer Affairs.
You simply fill out a form on the company website, then a debt coach will call you to learn more about your situation. If they can help you, they’ll set you up with an affordable plan that works for you — and give you an estimate of when you can expect to be debt-free. There’s no upfront fee and no obligation to get started.
National Debt Relief can help you with almost any unsecured debt, like credit cards, personal loans, medical bills, repossessions … even some student loan debt. Ready to start a new, happier chapter of your life?
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