$700 extra per month on Social Security benefits – You must do this when you retire

By Elena Cordelia

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$700 extra per month on Social Security benefits

Many older adults depend on Social Security during retirement. A 2024 Gallup poll found that 88% of current retirees rely on these benefits, and 60% of them consider Social Security their main source of income.

Some retirees even rely solely on these benefits, which can be risky if you don’t have other savings. It’s crucial to maximize your Social Security benefits to secure your financial future as a retiree. This article will explain a simple strategy that can boost your benefits by more than $700 per month.

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Why Timing Matters

The age you start receiving Social Security benefits significantly impacts your monthly amount. Once you begin receiving payments, the amount is generally fixed, except for annual cost-of-living adjustments.

The Social Security Administration allows Americans to start benefits as early as age 62, but doing so reduces your monthly benefits by up to 30%. If you wait until your full retirement age (67 for those born in 1960 or later), you’ll receive 100% of your benefits based on your work history. Delaying benefits further until age 70 can increase your payments by at least 24% each month on top of your full benefits.

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How Much Can You Gain?

These adjustments are usually permanent, and for the average worker, they can mean several hundred dollars more each month.

According to 2023 data from the Social Security Administration, the average retired worker receives about $1,298 per month if they claim benefits at age 62. If they wait until age 70, the average monthly benefit jumps to about $2,038, a difference of $740 per month. Delaying benefits can significantly increase your retirement income.

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When to Claim Benefits Early

While delaying benefits can increase your income, it might not be the best choice for everyone. If you have health issues or don’t expect to live into your 70s or beyond, claiming benefits early might allow you to enjoy them longer.

Claiming early can also help you reduce the strain of working and give you time to find other income sources without relying solely on your benefits.

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Strategic Spousal Benefits

If your spouse is also eligible for retirement benefits, you can use a strategy where one of you claims benefits early while the other delays. This approach provides additional income sooner while maximizing the total benefits you’ll receive later. It can help you retire earlier without sacrificing too much income.

Making the Decision

Deciding when to start collecting Social Security is a personal choice. Consider your health, financial needs, and life expectancy. If your goal is to maximize your retirement income, delaying benefits is one of the most effective strategies. Waiting a few extra years can boost your monthly income by several hundred dollars, leading to a more comfortable retirement.

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Maximizing your Social Security benefits is crucial for a secure retirement. By understanding the impact of your retirement age and using strategic approaches, you can significantly increase your monthly income. Make sure to evaluate your personal circumstances and consider delaying benefits to enjoy a financially stable and comfortable retirement.

FAQs:

What is the average Social Security benefit for retirees?

The average retired worker receives about $1,298 per month if they start claiming benefits at age 62. If they wait until age 70, the average monthly benefit increases to about $2,038.

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How can I increase my Social Security benefits?

You can increase your Social Security benefits by delaying your claim. Starting benefits at age 62 reduces your monthly payment, while waiting until your full retirement age (67 for those born in 1960 or later) ensures you receive 100% of your benefits. Delaying until age 70 can add an additional 24% to your monthly benefits.

What is the full retirement age?

For those born in 1960 or later, the full retirement age is 67. This is the age at which you can receive 100% of your Social Security benefits based on your work history.

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Can I still work while receiving Social Security benefits?

Yes, you can work while receiving Social Security benefits. However, if you claim benefits before your full retirement age and earn above a certain amount, your benefits may be temporarily reduced. After reaching full retirement age, your benefits won’t be reduced no matter how much you earn.

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Disclaimer- We are committed to fair and transparent journalism. Our Journalists verify all details before publishing any news. For any issues with our content, please contact us via email. 

Elena Cordelia

Elena is a seasoned tax consultant with a decade of expertise in income tax management. Graduating with top honors in Finance, she embarked on a career journey focused on simplifying tax complexities. Elena's insightful articles on thecsc.org provide practical guidance to taxpayers.

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