How to Bump Up Your Benefits

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More money is always nice. With more money comes more opportunity, more fun, and less stress. More money each month, in the form of a higher Social Security benefit, can help seniors enjoy retirement in ways they weren’t expecting. Our benefits aren’t static and can grow and change depending on several important factors.

 Emily Brandon reports for U.S. news on the maximum Social Security benefit in 2021. At the age of 70, the max 2021 benefit is $3,895. For those that file early the amount decreases, $3,148 at 66 years old and $2,324 at 62. The easiest way to increase your Social Security benefit is to delay claiming them till you’re 70.

That’s not necessarily the best move for everyone, life is filled with unforeseen obstacles that might make you claim your benefits sooner. If you file before 70 you can still maximize the amount you qualify for.

For example, having worked for 35 years you’ve increased your benefits; the Social Security Administration takes those 35 years into account when calculating your benefits, and any year you didn’t work factors in as a zero.

Earning as close to, or possible higher than, the taxable maximum income also increased your benefits. While you worked, there was a cap on the Social Security tax, which is adjusted every year. A more profitable year can replace a low-income year in your Social Security calculation.

Utilizing family benefits too is a solid strategy to increase your payout. Spouses, divorcees, and widow(er)s can all receive benefits depending on their situation. They can earn up to 50% of their significant other’s payout and revert to their own benefits in time.

Depending on the payout of one partner’s Social Security, whether one person made a higher salary, the other can receive a potentially higher sum too.

The Council for Retirement Security’s mission is to see that all seniors get the Social Security they’ve earned. We must let Congress know that every retired senior is entitled to their Social Security. Learn more about whether your Social Security reflects what you put into it and help the Council protect the Social Security Trust. That way you can focus on maximizing your benefits and not have to worry if they’re there in the first place.

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