Can you increase your Social Security? If you’re talking about retirement benefits, the answer is probably yes but you’ll have to be patient.
I think that most people know that if you go on Social Security retirement benefits before full retirement age — which is currently 66 — you receive less. The reduction is 25% if you go on Social Security retirement benefits at age 62 than at age 66. That’s a big reduction! For example, if your benefit if you wait until age 66 would be $1,000 a month, your benefits would only be $750 a month at the age if you go on benefits at age 62.
Most people don’t know that they can get even more per month if they delay starting their retirement benefits to age 70. The difference between going on benefits at the full retirement age of 66 and going on benefits at age 70 is 32%. The difference between going on retirement benefits at age 62 and going on benefits at age 70 is 76%! That person who goes on Social Security retirement benefits at age 62 and receives $750 a month would receive $1,320 a month if he or she can wait until age 70.
There’s an obvious problem for most people. They need or want to retire before age 70. Once they retire, they don’t have enough money without their Social Security retirement benefits. However, if you have assets such as an IRA or 401(k) to tide you over until you turn 70, delaying the start of your benefits is a good idea. In another post, I’ll talk about other things you can do that may help out your household income while you wait until age 70..