Maximize Social Security: How To Add Nearly $190K to Your Benefits

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It’s no secret that waiting to receive Social Security benefits can net you more — but how much more?

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The biggest decision you will have to make regarding Social Security is when you will start to claim benefits. The earliest you can do so is age 62, which is considered early claiming. This will net you the lowest possible benefit, as depending on your lifetime earnings record, you will need to draw on your total Social Security earnings years earlier than “full retirement age.” FRA, for most people, is age 67 and the first age when one can begin receiving their “full” retirement benefits.

Since everyone’s earning record is different, only by logging on to SSA.gov and using their retirement calculator can you receive a realistic estimate of your specific benefit. The tool shows you how much money you will likely receive at age 62, 67 and 70 (70 being the latest distribution age).

The difference between collecting at age 70 vs. age 62 can be up to 30% more in benefit.

Social Security Eligibility: What It Takes To Receive Max Monthly $3,895

Heather Schreiber of HLS Retirement Consulting crunched some numbers for a real-life scenario. Assuming you are a single taxpayer who earns $100,000 a year now at age 61, your initial annual benefit will be $20,075, reported Investors.com.

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Social Security calculators plug in average yearly earnings going back in time for every single filer earning $100,000 at age 61, Investors.com reported. You can change this on your personalized mySocialSecurity account and request a correction if the information is not correct. 

At age 67, a person with the same profile would receive $31,658 per year. If the same person held off until age 70, the benefits would start at $41,668 per year.

Those eight years of benefits that you would have collected between 62 and 70 amassed to $186,131 according to Schrieber’s calculations. This factors in an assumed 2% COLA on the average inflation rate. If you were to factor in last year’s inflation rate, the number would be even higher.

Social Security: Understanding the Basics
Find: 9 Things Most Retirees Don’t Know About Social Security

Important to remember, the overall money distributed during a lifetime will more or less be the same, but the significant difference listed above will make the most difference to those who have the luxury of waiting to claim benefits.

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About the Author

Georgina Tzanetos is a former financial advisor who studied post-industrial capitalist structures at New York University. She has eight years of experience with concentrations in asset management, portfolio management, private client banking, and investment research. Georgina has written for Investopedia and WallStreetMojo. 
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