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Applying for benefits

Common Mistakes About Social Security

A recent poll found about half of respondents made mistakes on the following :

1. Retirement benefits will not be reduced if I claim at age 65 => FALSE. Full retirement age is rising.

2. A spouse can receive Social Security even if they have no earnings history => TRUE

3. If my spouse dies, that will have no effect on my Social Security payment => FALSE

4. Social Security benefits depend only on my earnings history, not when I claim => FALSE

Using a Reverse Mortgage to Increase Social Security Benefits

Delaying initiation of Social Security retirement benefits can substantially increase your monthly benefit.

One way to delay your benefits is to borrow against the equity in your home though a reverse mortgage.

This can be a risky strategy, but it may be worth examining if you don't have savings, but you have substantial equity in your home.

Tips on Filing for Social Security Benefits

This is a good article with several tips on when and how to apply for Social Security benefits.

When to file :

* For a retirement or Medicare claim, file three months before you want your benefits to begin.

* For disability, file as soon as possible.

You can largely file online, with the notable exception of a survivor claim for a widow, widower or surviving child. Call Social Security to schedule an appointment.

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Not affiliated with the US Social Security Administration