“Social Security: Maximize Your Benefits”

Summary of Chapter 2: Increasing Your Benefits by Utilizing Spousal and Family Benefits

Using spousal benefits is often an easy way to hike monthly Social Security benefits. This chapter shows how the SSA defines spouse, ex-spouse, dependent children and parents. You’ll grasp how to calculate the family maximum benefit (which is about 150 to 180 percent of the worker’s benefit amount). You’ll grasp how the earner’s and ex-spouse’s benefits are not included in the family maximum benefit.  You’ll discover how to calculate the family maximum benefit, see examples of early spousal benefits, and establish the impact of a worker’s early retirement on the early retirement of his or her spouse. Next you’ll become aware of “Dual Entitlement”. Dual entitlement allows a spouse, ex-spouse or survivor to claim benefits on their own work record or on the earner’s work record. The chapter concludes with instructions about how to maximize benefits by determining if you should claim your own benefits or your spousal benefit.

About ksindell

Kathleen Sindell, Ph.D. is the author of numerous academic, popular, and professional finance articles, Web sites, proposals, and books. This includes the bestselling reference book, "Investing Online for Dummies, Eds 1-5" (listed for two consecutive years on the Wall Street Journal's Bestselling Business Book List). Her most recent book "Social Security: Maximize your Benefits" has been listed in Amazon's Top 100 Bestselling Retirement Planning Books. It is important to note that "Social Security: Maximize Your Benefits, 2nd Edition" was just released. Sindell has an in-depth understanding of the financial services industry and has held Series 7, 63, and 65 licenses. Dr. Sindell is regularly tapped as a financial services expert on ABC World News, The Nightly Business Report, and at popular online and print outlets. Kathleen Sindell, Ph.D. is a member of the Board of Directors for the Financial Planning Association, National Capital Area (FPA NCA), is on the Editorial Advisory Panel of the Journal of Financial Planning, and is Co-Chair of the Metro Washington Financial Planning Day. Sindell is a Course Chair II, CFP Program Academic Officer, and adjunct full-professor at the University of Maryland, UMUC, School of Undergraduate Studies. Contact Information: ksindell@kathleensindell.com or 703-299-1700
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