An early social security requirement gives you access to your money faster, but it comes at a high price.
Payments can be started from ages 62 to 70. If you start getting checks prior to yours full retirement age (between 66 and four months and 67), payments will be up to 30% less due to early submission penalties. And you’re missing out on every opportunity to earn deferred retirement credits that increase your standard benefit.
A large cut in your monthly social security check can cause financial pain later in life. While social security benefits are never enough to live on (they only replace 40% of early retirement income), many people depend on these benefits more than they should. And if you have shrunk benefits that are already too small, you can really regret it.
The good news is that there are opportunities to increase your advantage, even after an early claim. Here are three of them.
1. Go back to work
Returning to work can potentially help raise the amount for yours Check of social security in a few different ways.
First of all, if you are under your full retirement age (OFF) and earning enough money, work can actually cause you to temporarily lose your social security income. While it may sound bad to lose benefits, this approach essentially involves reducing or stopping the benefits in the short term to increase your future checks.
See, if you earn more than $ 19,560 in 2022 and do not hit OFF at all during the year, you will lose $ 1 in benefits for every $ 2 extra earned. If you hit FRA at some point during 2022, you lose $ 1 in benefits for every $ 3 earned over $ 51,960. The thresholds when you start losing benefits change every year, but the amount lost after exceeding them remains the same.
The Social Security Administration withholds entire monthly checks to account for the benefits you lose. That’s the bad part. However, when you receive withheld checks due to work, your future payment will subsequently be recalculated by FRA. You will be credited with early submission penalties that would otherwise have been applicable. In other words, every month you do not get a check, your future payments increase because some fines disappear. You can reduce or eliminate early submission penalties with this approach, giving you more Social Security income later in life.
You can also raise your benefit by working if you increase the average salary on which your benefits are based. The Social Security Administration bases your standard benefit on the amount you earn in the 35 years that your inflation-adjusted salary was highest. If you earn more after returning to work than at an earlier point in your career, each additional year of high earnings will push lower earnings based on the average payroll calculation. This increases the benefits you receive.
2. Cancel your benefit claim
If it’s less than a year ago you applied for social benefitsyou have the option to revoke your claim.
This is basically like asking for a do-over. You pay back all the benefits that were paid out as a result of your original claim, and then it is as if the claim never happened.
Having to repay all paid benefits can be a huge financial burden. However, if this approach allows you to avoid early sanctions and potentially make money on late retirement credits, you could end up with a much higher monthly income later.
3. Suspend your benefits
Finally, if you have already reached full retirement age, you can ask to suspend your benefits. Payments would stop coming in until age 70 (or until you asked to restart them) and you could start earning overdue retirement credits that increase your monthly income.
These three approaches all allow you to raise your future social security even if you have claimed benefits early. While they may mean short-term victims, they are worth looking into if you are concerned that you will not have financial security without a higher pension check later in life.
The $ 18,984 social security bonus completely overlooks most retirees
If you are like most Americans, you are a few years (or more) behind with your retirement savings. But a handful of little-known “social security secrets” could help secure a boost in your retirement income. For example: A single trick could pay you as much as $ 18,984 more … every year! Once you’ve learned how to maximize your social security benefits, we think you can safely retire with the peace of mind we all seek. Just click here to find out how you can learn more about these strategies.
The Motley Fool has one disclosure policy.