How to Maximize Social Security for the Long Haul in 2023 and Beyond

Date:

If you think the majority of your retirement income will come from Social Security, think again. The average monthly Social Security retirement payment was recently $1,677, totaling about $20,000 per year. Yes, you can collect more, but probably not Which much more. The maximum monthly payout is currently $4,194 (about $50,000 per year), and it’s quite difficult to qualify for that.

So regardless of your age right now, it’s smart to learn a little more about Social Security and be aware of the steps you can take now and later to get the most out of the program. Here are four solid strategies to consider.

Image source: Getty Images.

1. Earn as much as you can

This probably goes without saying, but the more you earn in your working life, the bigger your Social Security checks will be — up to a point. There is an earning limit for each year, beyond which earning more will not increase your benefits. For 2022 it is $147,000 and for 2023 it is $160,200.

Assuming you don’t earn those maximums, think about how you can increase your earnings in the years to come. There are multiple strategies to consider, such as:

  • Take a few or two gigs, for a few or many years. A quick online search turns up a myriad of opportunities, including driving for a ride-sharing service, renting out part or all of your home, making and selling things, walking dogs, tutoring kids, and teaching music or language.
  • Ask for a raise at work – at least every few years. Such requests are often granted, and even if you receive a smaller raise than you asked for, it is an increase in your income.
  • Find a new, better paying job. This may even include launching a new career that requires you to earn an additional degree or certification.

2. Aim for 70 years

Next, think about when you can start collecting your Social Security retirement benefits. You can do this as early as age 62, at your full retirement age (that’s 66 or 67, or somewhere in between), or even at age 70.

If you start cashing early, your benefits will be smaller, but you will get a lot more checks. If you defer your full retirement age, your checks will increase by about 8% per year (until age 70), but you will get fewer checks in total.

The following table shows what percentage of your full benefits you receive, depending on when you turn on the faucet:

Start collecting at:

Full retirement age of 66 years

Full retirement age of 67 years

62

75%

70%

63

80%

75%

64

86.7%

80%

65

93.3%

86.7%

66

100%

93.3%

67

108%

100%

68

116%

108%

69

124%

116%

70

132%

124%

Data source: Social Security Administration.

If you can manage it, it is often best to try to delay collection until age 70. However, not everyone can do this, because many people simply need that income sooner.

3. If necessary, tap your retirement accounts

If you want to delay the collection until age 70 and have one or more retirement accounts you can tap into, this can help make it happen. For example, you can withdraw more aggressively from an IRA or 401(k) account over a few years until you reach age 70. .

Be sure to run the numbers to see what makes the most sense to you, and also don’t be shy about consulting a good financial advisor – these are very important things.

4. Maximize those COLAs

Finally, know that if you’ve maximized your benefits as much as possible, you’ve also maximized your cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) that the Social Security program applies to benefits in most years.

For example, the COLA increase for 2023 is unusually large at 8.7%. (In the past, it was often closer to 2%, 3%, or 4%.) For example, if you currently collect $2,000 per month, your 8.7% raise is $174 per month, bringing your benefit to $2,174. However, if you got your benefit up to $3,000, your 8.7% raise is $261 per month, increasing your monthly benefit to $3,261.

Don’t ignore Social Security, thinking there’s not much you can do about it. The more you know and the smarter the moves you make, the more you can get out of it.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Share post:

Popular

More like this
Related