Although it is not a best practice, millions of people in the United States have a Social Security check as their sole source of income. With good planning this is possible, but sometimes it doesn’t work out well. In order to have enough money each month, it is necessary to take into account everything that surrounds the Social Security beneficiary.
Monthly bills, food and medical expenses are only part of the overall problem. For that reason, any basic advice should be welcome if you want to live on just your monthly Social Security check. Still, it is advisable to have some source of extra income. With this in mind, it is also important to keep in mind that we should plan for retirement long before we reach the age to apply for it.
If we add an alternative source of income to a good retirement plan, life during the golden years will be much better. The tips we are going to look at are for before you start collecting Social Security. However, many of these tips can also be done during the time when we are already collecting our monthly retirement check.
5 Key Tips for Living on Social Security Alone
These are not the only 5 key tips for having enough money each month while collecting Social Security alone. There are many other tips that may be helpful. Also keep in mind that some of these tips may not work for everyone. Think carefully about your current situation to see if you can apply these tips to your life.
Save as much as you can
This advice applies not only to retirees who have not yet applied for Social Security. Citizens who have already started collecting their monthly benefit can also use it every month. Always save as much as you can.
Budgeting makes this possible. That is, set aside part of your monthly money not to spend it. Choose a realistic option to make it easier to reach that figure. For example, save 3% or 5% of your salary every month so that when you retire you will have a good amount and your Social Security check will have an extra amount every month.
Get a big salary
The bigger your salary, the bigger your Social Security check. This rule applies to all citizens who want to retire in the future. If you’re thinking about applying for a Social Security check, get the biggest paycheck possible.
At the end of the day, monthly retirement paymentsdepend on what we make during our time as a worker. If we have a high salary we will get a bigger check. In addition, we will also be able to save much more if we have a higher salary.
Delay applying for Social Security
It is possible to apply for age retirement starting at age 62, but it is not recommended. Doing so means losing 30% of our monthly payment. For that reason, before starting to collect Social Security, it is better to wait until age 67.
At this age we will be sure to get the best possible benefit. If we want to reach the maximum check of $4,555 in 2023 we are going to have to wait until age 70. This is the only way to reach the maximum monthly Social Security payment.
Work for many years
While it is true that the minimum number of years worked to get a Social Security check is 10, this is not the best option. Working 10 years will only result in a very low Social Security check. So it is best to work as long as possible.
To get a good monthly check and not depend on another source of income we must reach 35 years worked. Each year not worked below that number will add 0 to the average, which will cause our Social Security check to go way down.
Eliminate debt before you start collecting Social Security
This is another tip that seems obvious but not everyone keeps in mind. When it’s time to start collecting Social Security, it’s best not to have any debts to pay. This is the best possible way to ensure that you will have enough money in retirement.
Keep in mind that collecting a retirement check means having less money than when we were working. For that reason, if we have to pay debts with retirement money, we may have financial problems.