Married couples should do this before adding benefits

Whether you’re single during retirement or married, there’s a good chance Social Security will end up serving as an essential income source for you. But if you’re married, you may have more options than the average senior who’s single when it comes to maximizing those benefits. And so before you file for Social Security, make certain to check these important items off your list.

If you and your spouse each worked, you may each be entitled to your own Social Security benefit. But there may be a big discrepancy in those benefits, and so knowing what to expect could help guide your filing decision — both individually and jointly.

►Minimum wage:It’s about to rise in 21 states, 35 localities as more embrace $15 an hour

►Side job income:Should you spend it or save it for retirement?

Imagine you earned a lot more than your spouse during your career, and so you’re now in line for a higher monthly benefit. What you may opt to do in that case is have your spouse file for Social Security right away while you delay your filing. Doing so will allow your benefit to grow into a larger amount, while your spouse’s filing might give you access to the income you need immediately.