Social Security is the key source of income for most retirees, and that will continue to be the case for a long time.
Many non-retirees downplay the importance of Social Security because of its precarious financial condition and other factors. But surveys of retirees show that the program’s benefits are an important part of retirement income for most of them, and the importance grows through retirement.
That’s why it’s important to maximize Social Security benefits. You can take actions that will affect the amount of your monthly benefits. Unfortunately, many people inadvertently take actions that reduce their benefits. Remember Social Security retirement benefits are guaranteed for life and increase with inflation. Over the course of retirement, many people lose tens of thousands of dollars or more in lifetime benefits by overlooking some key actions.
Here are five ways you can boost the value of your Social Security benefits.
Work longer. You might not want to keep working. You might be counting the days until you can leave your job. Before setting your departure date from the workforce, however, calculate how it would affect your Social Security benefits.
Your benefits are calculated using only your highest 35 years of earnings. For most people, their earnings are higher near retirement age than they were early in their lifetimes. Other people had a few low earning years because of lay offs, illness, or other factors.
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