Claiming Social Security before full retirement age (FRA) comes with consequences — namely, you’ll be stuck with a lower monthly benefit for life. That’s why some seniors expressly want to wait for FRA to apply for benefits to avoid that fate.
But what if you take early retirement? It is possible that you intend to work until your late 60s or early 70s, only to find yourself unable to find a job at 62 years of age. avoid depleting your nest egg.
In fact, you may have some options for deferring Social Security even if your work-related paycheck snatched ahead of schedule. Here are some worth checking out.
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1. Find a part-time job
You may struggle to find a full-time job if you’ve been laid off from work or if health problems prevent you from working 40 hours or more a week. But that doesn’t mean you can’t work part-time.
Today, the workforce is becoming more flexible and more remote, so you may have more options to find a job that’s easy to manage, even if you struggle with limited mobility. If you can get a high enough salary, you may be able to get by on that income alone for a while, growing your Social Security benefits.
2. Limit your lifestyle
If you lose your job, you may be forced to call Social Security immediately unless you can make major lifestyle cuts that minimize your expenses. If you find yourself in that unwanted scenario, think about the ways you can downsize your lifestyle. You could sell a bigger house and move to a smaller one, unload a car when you’re out of a job to sign up for, and start cooking all meals at home instead of eating out.
Just to be clear, you still need some income to live on. But if you lower your lifestyle for a few years, you may be able to manage with modest withdrawals from your 401(k) or IRA. That way, you don’t have to rush with Social Security.
3. Make money with your house
If you need to retire early and have a bigger house, there may be an alternative solution to shrinking it: making money from it. For example, you can rent out part of your home and use that income to pay your bills. You can also look at creatively renting out parts of your home, such as letting someone park in your driveway for money.
Don’t assume Social Security is your only option
When you need to retire early, it’s natural to assume that claiming Social Security is your only option. But actually, you may have many more choices to explore. It’s worth doing what you can to delay applying for benefits because waiting can lead to a series of higher monthly paychecks for the rest of your life.
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