How to Get an Extra $800 in Social Security Benefits!

Social Security payouts average roughly $1,500 per month for the average retiree. This can vary depending on your lifetime earnings and, more significantly, when you elect to begin receiving benefits.

Inflation has thrown a knot in the ordinary American’s Social Security benefits and how much they cover. Overall, prices have increased by 6% in the last year.

To put that into context: For the better part of the last decade, inflation was near zero, but prices in almost every major category rose dramatically in less than a year.

Grocery prices, for an instance, have risen by as much as 12% in some categories, a sector that has a significant impact on older adults living on fixed incomes.

To compensate, the cost-of-living adjustment for 2022 is 5.9%, the highest in over 40 years. If you, like millions of other Americans, still need more money, here are some tried-and-true methods for boosting your earnings significantly.

Delayed Retirement Credits — The Big One

The timing of your Social Security payout is one of the most significant aspects to consider. You can apply for Social Security payments as early as age 62 and as late as age 70.

The sooner you begin receiving benefits, the less you will receive; the longer you wait, up to age 70, the more benefits you will earn.

How to Get an Extra $800 in Social Security Benefits!

You might virtually treble your monthly benefits depending on the size of your benefit and when you start taking distributions. This is because you can use delayed retirement credits if you wait.

According to AARP, delayed retirement credits are a cash reward from Social Security for delaying your retirement benefit claim.

The month you reach full retirement age, credits begin to accumulate (which is 66 and 4 months for those born in 1956 and rises gradually to 67 for people born in 1960 and later.)

The Social Security Administration increases your final payout by about two-thirds of one percent for each month you wait from full retirement age to age 70, for a total of eight percent for each year you delay.

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This means that seniors who reach full retirement age at 67 but wait until 70 to file for benefits will receive a 24 percent increase in their monthly payout.

The credits accumulate until you reach the age of 69, but they work in reverse if you opt to retire early.

“If a worker begins receiving benefits before his or her normal or full retirement age, the person will receive a reduced benefit,” according to the SSA. It goes on to say that a worker can retire as early as age 62, but that doing so could result in a 30% pay cut.

If you retire at the age of 62 and receive an average benefit of $1,500, your check may be cut to $1,050. If you wait until you’re 70, that check will be roughly $1,888, assuming an average benefit and an annual accrual rate of 8% starting at full retirement age.