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Want an extra $ 370 per month in Social Security benefits? Here’s how to get it

By on July 7, 2021 0

For millions of seniors, Social Security benefits mean the difference between enjoying a comfortable retirement and struggling to make ends meet.

Social Security benefits represent about a third of the average income of a retiree, according to the Social Security Administration (SSA). And about 1 in 5 married couples depend on their benefits for at least 90% of their retirement income.

If you expect Social Security to be a significant portion of your retirement income, it is wise to make sure you are maximizing your monthly checks. And there is a simple strategy that can increase your benefits by around $ 370 per month.

Image source: Getty Images.

Choose the right age to claim

The age at which you start to claim Social Security benefits will have a significant impact on the amount you receive each month.

Age 62 is the earliest you can start to claim, but you can also claim at any age after that. Two of the most popular ages to claim are 67 and 70.

Sixty-seven is the full retirement age (FRA) for anyone born in 1960 or later. By applying to your FRA, you will receive the total amount of benefits to which you are entitled based on your income. If you apply at age 62, your benefit amount will be reduced by up to 30%.

However, if you delay your claim for benefits until age 70, you will receive the full amount of your benefits plus a premium each month. If your FRA is 67, waiting until age 70 to claim will result in a 24% increase in benefits each month for the rest of your life.

Increase your benefits by hundreds of dollars per month

This 24% bonus might not seem like much, but it can boost your profits more than you think.

The average benefit amount for retirees is about $ 1,543 per month, according to data from the SSA. Let’s say your FRA is 67 years old, and by applying at that age, you will receive $ 1,543 per month.

By waiting to age 70, you will receive your full benefit amount plus an additional 24%, or approximately $ 1,913 per month. In other words, by waiting three years to start claiming, you could receive an additional $ 370 per month, or $ 4,440 per year.

Should we delay the benefits?

Deferring benefits can give you a substantial increase in benefits, but it is not the right choice for everyone.

Not everyone can afford to wait that long to start claiming. If you lose your job in your early sixties, for example, you might be better off claiming Social Security early for an additional source of income. Or if you have health issues and don’t expect to live into your late 70s or 80s, it may be wise to apply for benefits earlier so that you have more time to enjoy that money. .

On the other hand, if you can afford to work later in life and are in good physical shape, you may want to consider postponing benefits. This is especially true if your personal savings are lacking. While working a few more years may not be appealing right now, you can thank yourself later when you are able to enjoy a more secure retirement.

Choosing when to claim benefits is an important decision that should not be taken lightly. But if you decide to postpone your application until the age of 70, you could increase your benefits and enjoy your old age more comfortably.

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