If you’re like most Americans, Social Security is probably one of your biggest assets. What you collect and when you collect Social Security could be a wide range. Social Security has some new rules you should be aware of before you collect your benefits.

1. Double benefits. If you qualify for two benefits at one time, you won’t receive both, Social Security will only give you one. They will however, give you the larger of the two benefits. Need an example? If you’re married and you’re receiving retirement benefits, and you decide to take spousal benefits as well, you’ll lose your retirement benefit, if it is larger. The catch is that Social Security won’t tell you they took away your retirement benefit. They will tell you that they are giving you your retirement benefit plus the difference between the retirement and spousal benefit. However, that’s simply not the case.
2. Consider suspending your benefits. If you’re between full retirement age and 70 years old, you could suspend your benefit and wait a few years and receive even more benefits. You can restart your benefits at any time before you turn 70 years old. Then, Social Security will add 8% a year of delayed retirement credits to your benefits. However, you might want to be careful when you use this strategy. Some people suspend their benefits and then when they go to restart them, find that their benefits haven’t gone up at all. Sometimes it’s not worth it to suspend and restart due to the loss in the short run.

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