Social Security: How to Boost Your Benefits by $10,848 Per Year

Social Security is an integral source of income for millions of retirees, and 76% of U.S. adults say that it’s more important than ever to optimize their benefits, according to a 2022 survey from the Nationwide Retirement Institute.

Fortunately, it is possible to increase the size of your monthly payments. And there’s one move, in particular, that could potentially boost your checks by more than $10,000 per year.

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How your age affects your benefit amount

The age you file for Social Security is perhaps the most important factor influencing your benefit amount.

Age 62 is the earliest you can begin claiming, or you could file at any age thereafter. Your full retirement age (FRA) is the age at which you’ll receive the full benefit amount you’re entitled to based on your career earnings. For those born in 1960 or later, your FRA is 67 years old.

You can also delay benefits past your FRA, and by waiting until age 70 to file, you’ll receive the largest possible benefit amount.

Delaying benefits may not be ideal (after all, few workers want to put off retirement until later in life), but it could increase your annual income substantially.

How to boost your Social Security by $10,000 per year

The average benefit amount as of August 2022 is around $1,673 per month, according to the Social Security Administration.

Say, for example, you have an FRA of 67 years old, and by filing at that age, you’d receive $1,673 per month. If you began claiming at age 62 instead, your benefit amount would be permanently reduced by 30%, leaving you with around $1,171 per month — or $14,052 per year.

On the other hand, if you delay benefits until age 70, you’d receive your full benefit amount plus an extra 24%. That amounts to around $2,075 per month, or $24,900 per year. In total, that’s $904 per month (or $10,848 per year) more than you’d receive by filing at age 62.

Age You Begin Claiming
Monthly Benefit Amount
Annual Benefit Amount

When you should (and shouldn’t) delay Social Security

Waiting until age 70 to file for benefits can be a fantastic way to increase your monthly income, and if your savings are falling short, delaying benefits could be a smart move.

This strategy could also be wise if you have reason to believe you’ll have a longer-than-average lifespan. The longer you live, the more likely it is that your savings will eventually run dry. If that happens, an extra $10,000 per year in Social Security benefits could go a long way.

That said, delaying Social Security isn’t right for everyone. If you believe you may live a shorter-than-average lifespan, for example, you could actually receive more over a lifetime by claiming early. While each check will be smaller, you’ll collect more payments in total compared to if you’d delayed benefits.

Claiming early can also be wise if you’re forced into an early retirement due to job loss or health issues. You don’t have to file for Social Security as soon as you retire, but if you retire at 62 and delay benefits until age 70, you risk depleting your savings too quickly.

There’s no single right answer as to when you should take Social Security. By claiming at the right age for your situation, it will be easier to maximize your Social Security.

The $18,984 Social Security bonus most retirees completely overlook
If you’re like most Americans, you’re a few years (or more) behind on your retirement savings. But a handful of little-known “Social Security secrets” could help ensure a boost in your retirement income. For example: one easy trick could pay you as much as $18,984 more… each year! Once you learn how to maximize your Social Security benefits, we think you could retire confidently with the peace of mind we’re all after. Simply click here to discover how to learn more about these strategies.

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