Social Security benefits increase by more than 25% – Here’s how to get them in July

Amelia Ross
4 Min Read

If you receive Social Security benefits, there’s a way to increase your monthly check by more than 25%, even if you’ve already started claiming benefits. This article will help you understand how to maximize your Social Security benefits and ensure you get the most out of your retirement funds.

How Social Security Benefits Work

Factors Influencing Your Benefit Amount

Your monthly Social Security benefits depend on three main factors:

  1. Your total career earnings: The higher your earnings, the higher your benefits.
  2. Your birth date: This determines your full retirement age (FRA).
  3. The age you start receiving benefits: The earlier you claim, the lower your benefits will be.

Earnings Record Review

When you apply for benefits, the government looks at your earnings record. They adjust your earnings each year for inflation and average your highest 35 years of earnings. This average is used to calculate your primary insurance amount (PIA).

Full Retirement Age (FRA) and Benefit Percentages

Your FRA depends on your birth year. Here’s how your benefits change based on when you claim:

Birth DateAge 62Age 63Age 64Age 65Age 66Age 67Age 68Age 69Age 70
1943 to 195475%80%86.70%93.30%100%108%116%124%132%
1960 or later70%75%80%86.70%93.30%100%108%116%124%

As you can see, waiting until age 70 can significantly increase your benefits.

Boosting Your Social Security Benefits

Suspended Benefits for Delayed Retirement Credits

If you want to increase your monthly benefits, you can suspend your Social Security payments once you reach your FRA. By doing this, you’ll accumulate delayed retirement credits, increasing your benefits by two-thirds of a percentage point each month you delay up to age 70.

Important Considerations

  1. Impact on Family Benefits: If you suspend your benefits, others on your record (except a divorced spouse) won’t be able to collect benefits during the suspension.
  2. Medicare Part B Premiums: You’ll need to pay these premiums out of pocket, as they’re usually deducted from your Social Security check.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Can I increase my Social Security benefits after I start receiving them?

Yes, you can suspend your benefits after reaching your FRA to earn delayed retirement credits.

2. How much can I increase my benefits by suspending them?

You can increase your benefits by up to 28% if you were born in 1957, and slightly less for other birth years.

3. Will suspending my benefits affect my family’s benefits?

Yes, except for a divorced spouse, others on your record won’t receive benefits during the suspension.

4. Do I need to pay Medicare Part B premiums myself if I suspend my benefits?

Yes, you’ll need to pay these premiums out of pocket during the suspension period.

5. What’s the best age to start claiming Social Security benefits?

It depends on your financial situation and health, but waiting until age 70 will maximize your monthly benefit.

Understanding how to maximize your Social Security benefits can make a big difference in your retirement income. By considering the factors that affect your benefits and the strategy of suspending them for delayed retirement credits, you can ensure a more comfortable and financially secure retirement.

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