To maximize benefits of Social Security, do your homework first

It has been 81 years since the first social security check was issued to Miss Ida May Fuller, a retired teacher and legal secretary, in the amount of $ 22.54.

According to the Social Security Administration, he paid for the program for three years, for a total of $ 24.75, before retiring at age 65. And during his lifetime (he lived to be 100), he raised $ 22,888.92 in grants.

I don’t think anyone these days expects to get that kind of return on what they paid Social Security during their working years. But we certainly all want to get the most out we can. This is just as important now as it was in Ida May’s day.

Social Security was never conceived as the only source of financial support for workers after retirement. But for many, it is a sizable portion of their income. This is likely to remain true as more and more workers lose employer-provided pensions that have long been another reliable source of income. As Americans change from the old metaphor of the three-legged stool for retirement income (social security, personal savings and a pension) to a two-legged stool (with only social security and personal savings to stand on), they will want those two legs to be as sturdy possible.

Here are some questions you will want to consider as you work to maximize the amount of your Social Security benefit:

When do I have to apply for social security?

The goal here, of course, is to make a decision that will yield the most income over the course of your life and, if you are married, …