How big your payment is plays a big role in just how much of your expenses Social Security will cover in retirement. And maximizing your benefit will greatly depend on these three factors.
1. Working 35 years or more
If you work for exactly 35 years, then all of your years of earning money will count, and this will ensure that you don’t have any zeros that can drag your payment down. Spend more than 35 years in the workforce, and your lowest wage-earning years will be excluded from this calculation, which should bring your average up. So if you started work at 22 and stopped at 62, only the 35 highest-paid years of your 40-year work history will go into your Social Security payment calculations.
2. Starting benefits at age 70
Imagine that your standard monthly retirement benefit at age 66 is $2,000, your reduced benefit at age 62 is $1,400 each month and your increased benefit at age 70 is $2,640 per month. If you live to be 75, you will receive $218,400 in total income if you start benefits at age 62, $216,000 if you start at 66, and $158,400 if you start at 70. But live until 85, and you’ll receive $386,400 if you start at 62, $456,000 at 66, and $475,200 if you start at 70.
So waiting until age 70 will ensure that you receive the highest possible monthly payment, but it may not yield the highest amount of lifetime income. If you think you could live a long life, delaying your benefits to this age could work in your favor. But if you don’t have a history of longevity in your family, taking them earlier may be your best move.
3. Maxing out your earnings
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