Let me say right off the bat that these strategies will not work if Social Security is your only retirement plan. No one should be banking on Social Security to bail out his retirement. That's just foolish.
But these strategies suggested by Theodore Sarenski -- CPA/PFS, CFP of DB&B Financial Services, LLC in Syracuse, NY (www.dbbllc.com) and a contributor to the consumer protection resource Bottom Line Secrets -- might just pad that monthly SSA check once you start collecting:
* DELAY FILING FOR BENEFITS. The longer you delay collecting Social Security, the larger your monthly check will be, possibly as much as 80 percent. The problem with this strategy is you have to take into account your life expectancy. You may delay collecting benefits until your 70 instead of 62, but if you die at 72, a lot of good that does you!
* "START-AND-SUSPEND." If you earned more than your spouse earned during your working years, have your spouse file for "spousal benefits" instead of wage-earner benefits. Our CPA source says that spousal benefit -- tied to YOUR wage-earner benefit - may be more per month than if your spouse filed just as a wage-earner.
* LEAP FROM "SPOUSAL" TO "WAGE-EARNER." You cannot file individually as both, but if you file as spousal first, then leap to wage-earner later, you delay the start of your wage-earner benefit, and that benefit may increase the longer you put it off.
Sarenski shared more Social Security savings strategies with Bottom Line Secrets. Here's a link to those strategies and Sarenski's examples of how they might work: