Posted on 25 May 2012
By Mark Miller
As a retirement columnist, I know it makes sense to wait at least until my full retirement age to file for Social Security. Here’s what I didn’t know: My wife and I could boost our combined lifetime benefits nearly 15 percent through a coordinated series of delayed and spousal benefit filings.
I figured this out using one of several useful tools that have sprung up in recent years to help people maximize Social Security benefits. The options vary from basic free online tools to more robust fee-based services.
Some offer online assistance only, while others will do a personal review by phone for a fee that can range from $20 to a few hundred dollars. Several can link up your Social Security strategy with broader financial planning services so that you can think about your benefits against a backdrop of tax liabilities, your portfolio and other key factors.
The payback in lifetime benefits can total hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on your longevity. Learn more at Reuters Money.
Also see the RetirementRevised.com guide to resources for assistance with Social Security filing decisions. You may also want to check the RR guide to maximizing benefits and FAQ on spousal and survivor rules.