Do you want more from Social Security? Patience can be the key – Community News
Social Security

Do you want more from Social Security? Patience can be the key

People who retire with millions of dollars in savings may not care much about what Social Security pays them. But if you know that you’ll be relying heavily on those benefits to get through your senior years, then it’s important to score the highest Social Security salary possible.

There are several steps you can take during your career to get a higher benefit. Fighting for pay raises, for example, can be your ticket to more money, as Social Security calculates benefits based on employees’ individual pay histories. But if you really want to do your part to get a more generous retirement benefit, you need to do one thing: be patient.

Person with tablet.

Image source: Getty Images.

When waiting pays

You are entitled to your full monthly Social Security benefit based on your income history once you reach the so-called full retirement age or FRA, which depends on your year of birth, as follows:

Year of birth

Full Retirement Age




66 and 2 months


66 and 4 months


66 and 6 months


66 and 8 months


66 and 10 months

1960 or later


Data source: Social Security Administration.

You may apply for social security outside of FRA. In fact, you are free to apply once you reach the age of 62. But for every month you claim benefits early, it’s permanently reduced.

The flip side is that for every month you delay your Social Security application past FRA, your benefits grow a little. Wait a whole year after FRA to apply and you will get an 8% increase in your benefits.

The credits you accrue for deferring your filing will no longer accrue once you reach age 70. But if your FRA is 67 and you wait to sign up for Social Security until your 70th birthday, you increase your benefits by 24% — for life.

Patience is the key

Many people rush to claim Social Security as soon as they are able to. And just to be clear, that’s not necessarily a bad choice. Some people believe that if they have saved a lot of money in an IRA or 401(k) plan, they are free to apply for benefits early and get that money sooner, knowing they have a healthy nest egg to lay on. fall back On.

But if your goal is to get as much money from Social Security as possible, you need to be patient and wait as long as possible to file. You may even have to postpone your retirement altogether to make that happen. But the upside is that once you lock in that higher benefit, you can look forward to it during your retirement.

It’s hard to say the same about savings, because the reality is that market conditions can take a knock on your nest egg, leaving you with access to less money than expected. And if your nest egg isn’t as robust to begin with, you may run out of it relatively early when you retire.

Increasing your Social Security benefits is a great way to build a higher income stream for life, so it may be worth adjusting your retirement plans to accommodate that.