3 Social Security Secrets for Even Bigger Checks | Smart Change: Personal Finance | beatricedailysun.com – Beatrice Daily Sun

This might surprise you: The average monthly Social Security retirement benefit was recently $1,671. That’s just $20,000 per year, roughly. Clearly, it’s not going to be enough to support most of us very comfortably, unless we’ve amassed a sufficient war chest on the side. (Most of us need to be saving and investing effectively throughout our working lives, in order to be able to retire comfortably. And a simple, inexpensive index fund can be all you need.)

Still, there’s a good chance you can collect more than $20,000 from Social Security each year. For one thing, that’s an average — so if your earnings history has been above average, you’ll collect more than that. That sum is also increased periodically, to keep up with inflation (to some degree). And most importantly, there are ways to increase your Social Security benefits. Here are three you should consider.

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1. Delay, delay, delay

If you can put off starting to collect your benefits, you’ll make them bigger. Each of us has a “full retirement age” at which we can start collecting the full benefits to which we’re entitled, based on our earnings. It’s 66 or 67 or somewhere in between. You can start collecting benefits as early as age 62, but the checks will be smaller (though you’ll receive many more of them).

And you can make your checks bigger by delaying starting to collect them beyond your full retirement age. They’ll plump up by about 8% for each year, until age 70.

The table below shows the percentage of your full benefits you can expect to collect, depending on when you start collecting them. Remember that starting early means more checks, and delaying will result in fewer checks. For those who live average-length lives, the total collected won’t vary too much no matter when you start collecting.

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Source: https://beatricedailysun.com/business/investment/personal-finance/3-social-security-secrets-for-even-bigger-checks/article_a1dccb08-7168-5b1a-849b-5f0aa674ceb4.html

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Start Collecting at:

Full retirement age of 66

Full retirement age of 67

62

75%

70%

63

80%

75%

64

86.7%

80%

65

93.3%

86.7%

66

100%

93.3%