When you’re counting on a monthly check from Social Security to make ends meet, every penny makes a difference. And your knowledge of the system can make a pretty significant difference in the amount you’re receiving.
Here are a few strategies you can employ to boost your benefit check.
Delay claiming benefits
When you begin collecting Social Security has an effect on the size of your monthly check. Claiming at full retirement age (66/67 depending on your year of birth) allows you to receive your full benefit amount each month. But you don’t have to claim at full retirement age. Some choose to collect early (at a deducted rate) or choose to wait.
Now, waiting to claim your benefits isn’t the right choice for everyone – for example, if you are in poor health. But if you foresee many healthy years ahead, you could hold off on collecting Social Security. This allows you to collect your full benefits plus a bonus amount each month.
Make your 35 years count
If you’ve worked for 10 years, you’re eligible to collect Social Security. But keep in mind Social Security is based off your 35 most profitable work years. If you haven’t worked for 35 years, spent many years at a lower pay grade, or took time off during your career, you could be counting zeros towards that average. Working a couple extra years could allow you to replace zeros or lower earning years, and reward you with a larger check when you do cash in.
Make sure you know what benefits you’re eligible for
Social Security extends past retirement benefits. You may be eligible to collect additional benefits such as spousal, divorce or survivor benefits. But here’s the catch – you most likely won’t be notified that you’re eligible. It’s up to you to be informed and collect all the benefits you’re entitled too.
To learn more, check out the article below.