3 Reasons To Plan Your Social Security Now

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It is a common misconception that you don’t need to worry about retirement or Social Security benefits until you are of the retiring age (typically 66), but that isn’t true. In actuality, there is no time better than the present to start taking your Social Security benefits into consideration. If you are amongst the majority of the American population, chances are that you are hoping to obtain the most you can from your well-deserved retirement benefits. If this is the case, then you should begin to think about your earned benefits now so that you can better prepare for your retirement future. Read on to see why you should worry about your Social Security benefits now, rather than later.

1. You need to have worked a certain amount of years to obtain ANY Social Security benefits.

Many people are under the impression that if you have ever worked somewhere with taxable income then you are entitled to Social Security benefits. Although that is essentially true, the amount of time you spent working is also a factor. Regardless of where you worked or how much of your paycheck went to Social Security, if you haven’t worked for a total of ten years then you will not be eligible to receive Social Security benefits. If you are currently unemployed but haven’t worked a total of ten years in the past, you still have time to accrue the necessary amount of work history. By waiting to do so, you may miss out on receiving any retirement benefits whatsoever.

2. You may not have the help you have now when the time comes to get your benefits.

I hate to say it, but bad things happen. Right now, at this point in your life, you probably have a decent support base with people who care for you and who can help assist you with financial decisions, such as preparing for your retirement. Be this as it may, those precious people may not be around when you are ready to retire. Utilize your resources, friends, and family while you are able to help plan for your future.

3. You may be eligible for spousal benefits in the future, if you can hold out now.

Some marriages have more financial benefits than emotional bonds. You know the story, fall in love, get married, live happily ever after…or so you thought, until something comes along, making you despise your spouse and sending you trailing down the ugly road of divorce. Instead of rushing to the nearest lawyer, though, you may want to reconsider divorcing until the time is right. If you have been married for less than ten years, you may want to hold out on a divorce. Once you have been married for a minimum of ten consecutive years, you are eligible for spousal benefits, which is just another reason you should worry about your retirement benefits now rather than later, for if you divorce prior to the ten year limit you could be missing out on a lot of money. Living with your horrid spouse for another few months or so may sound awful, but could be financially beneficial in the long run.

Although every Social Security benefits package is different, the information above rings true for just about all Social Security cases. Check with the Social Security website to find out more information on how to better prepare for your retirement. There’s no such thing as planning too early; however, you can plan too late. Take action now!

Image courtesy http://www.flickr.com/photos/55790637@N06/5264674820/

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