The following Social Security basics will make it possible for people to maximize their benefits when it comes time to retire:

What Types of Benefits Can Someone Receive?

An American can collect retirement benefits from Social Security, but there are also other types of benefits. A spouse will be eligible for spousal benefits if they collect less than 50% of their spouse’s benefits from Social Security. To qualify for divorce benefits, the marriage must have lasted at least 10 years. In addition to that, the spouses cannot be married to other people. Widows and widowers can collect survivors’ benefits that entitle them to the full amount of the deceased person’s benefits. If relatives were dependent upon the deceased person, they could claim these benefits as well.

What Affects the Amount that People Can Receive?

To receive the maximum amount, a person needs to work for at least 35 years. If someone works for less than 35 years, his or her benefits will be lower. For example, people can begin to receive Social Security benefits after they have worked for 10 years, but they will not receive their full benefits if they do not work for at least 35 years.

What Age Is the Full Retirement Age?

Those born in 1960 and after have a full retirement age of 67 years. Those born before 1960 have a full retirement age of 66 years. Some people will have a full retirement age of 66 years and some months depending on the month to celebrate their birthdays.

When people reach the full retirement age, they are entitled to receive their maximum benefits. These benefits will be reduced by 30% if they claim their benefits before reaching 65. If they wait until the age of 70 to claim their benefits, they will receive the full amount they are entitled to receive, plus 32% more each month.

When people begin to take their Social Security benefits, the amount they receive in their checks will remain the same unless there is an adjustment for the cost-of-living increase.

In addition to the benefits above, people may be entitled to receive the $17,166 Social Security bonus. This bonus applies to retirees every year, but they must find out about the available strategies for taking this bonus before they can do so.