4 Social Security Secrets for Even Bigger Checks

4 Social Security Secrets for Even Bigger Checks

Social Security might seem like a straightforward program on its surface. Beneath that surface, the specific rules it follows means that nobody — not even Social Security itself — can tell you exactly what your benefit will be until you actually file to receive it. In addition to your earnings record, your age when you file plays a key role in determining exactly what your benefit will be.

Fortunately, while the specifics are tough to pin down, there are general principles you can follow to increase the size of your monthly benefit once you do collect. With that in mind, here are four Social Security secrets for getting even bigger checks.

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No. 1: Delay filing until you’re closer to age 70

You can start collecting Social Security retirement benefits as young as age 62. The longer you wait to start collecting up until age 70, the higher your monthly benefit check will be. The difference can be substantial.

As of January 2022, the average retiree receives $1,660.90 per month in benefits. Assume for a moment that you were born in 1960 or later and that amount represents your full retirement age projected benefit. By waiting until age 70, your monthly benefit could be as much as $2,059.52. On the flip side, if you collect at 62 — the earliest age you can — your benefit would be reduced to $1,162.63.

Read More: 4 Social Security Secrets for Even Bigger Checks

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