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Score a Richer Monthly Social Security Payout

Ryan Downie echoes here what many experts say to do to maximize Social Security benefits. One, delay as long as possible. Waiting until age 70 will yield the highest monthly payout for life. Two, work 35 or more years. Anything less means a zero in the calculation. And, for many working beyond 35 years might exclude some low wage earnings years early in one’s career. Three, take advantage of spousal and survivor benefits. Full article here.

The AMAC Foundation offers a free-to-the-public advisory service to all folks ageing into–or already in–Social Security. This service provides guidance in understanding the complexities of Social Security and the myriad rules and regulations associated with the process for claiming benefits, with NSSA-Certified Social Security Advisors available via email or telephone to discuss options. Learn more about this service via the Foundation’s website.

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Comments On This Topic

  1. My partner of more than 16 years died last year. We lived in Alabama for a good chunk of that time. While we were not married we should and might as well have been. He was a technical writer and made a whole lot more money than me, a lowly human services worker! Would I be able to draw on his SS which was significantly more than mine?

    Thank you for the service you provide. It’s invaluable!

    • Julie,
      Social Security goes by State rules to determine if “common law” marriage is a “marriage” for Social Security benefit purposes. Although Alabama law does not expressly endorse common law marriage, case law in Alabama has set a precedent that common law relationships established in Alabama prior to January 2017 are considered valid marriages. So, if your relationship with your partner was established in Alabama 16 years ago, you should be eligible for survivor benefits from your deceased partner. Social Security will require you to prove when and where your relationship was established, which you can do using bank records (e.g., joint accounts), affidavits from those who will testify that your relationship was “marriage-like” in Alabama, copies of joint bills paid, joint car registrations, rental agreements, leases, loans, etc. It doesn’t matter if you have since moved to a state which does not recognize common law marriage; it only matters where your marriage-like relationship was established. I suggest you contact Social Security (1.800.772.1213) and make an appointment to apply for survivor benefits, and in the meantime gather as much information as possible to prove your relationship. If survivor benefits are approved by Social Security and you have reached your SS full retirement age (between 66 and 67 depending on when you were born), you will get 100% of the benefit your partner was receiving when he died, instead of your own smaller SS benefit.
      Russell Gloor
      National Social Security Advisor
      The AMAC Foundation

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