Think You Can’t Grow Your Social Security Benefits Beyond Age 70? Think Again.


When it comes to signing up for Social Security, you are given choices. The earliest age to start collecting benefits is 62 years old. But if you file for Social Security at that age, you reduce your monthly benefit for life.

In fact, you are not entitled to your full monthly Social Security benefits based on your personal pay history until full retirement age (FRA) arrives. That age is 66, 67 or 66 years and a certain number of months, depending on the year in which you were born.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) will also reward you if you choose to delay your filing past FRA. For every month you do that, you’ll receive deferred retirement credits that add up to 8% per annum.

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However, when you turn 70, you will no longer be able to build up those credits. So 70 is generally referred to as the latest age at which you can claim Social Security, even though you are not required to do so.

But while it’s true that you can’t accrue a deferred pension after age 70, that doesn’t mean that the monthly benefit you commit at age 70 is the one you’ll be stuck with for life. There is one more step you can take that could result in a higher monthly benefit over time.

Working later has its advantages

Today, many Americans are living and working longer — partly because they can, partly because of the financial benefits. If you’re still working at age 70, it pays to claim Social Security no matter what your salary looks like, as it makes no financial sense to delay your application any longer. But if you keep working until age 70 and earn a good wage, you can increase your Social Security benefits thanks to your higher earnings.

The SSA takes into account your 35 highest paid pay years when calculating the monthly Social Security payment you are entitled to. Meanwhile, if you file for benefits at age 70 but continue to work, the SSA will review your earnings each year to see if recent wages qualify you for a higher monthly benefit. Then your benefit will be increased.

Suppose you are 70 years old and earn $100,000 a year. If you continue to earn that salary for the next five years before you retire, you can replace five years of wages in the $50,000 range with that six-figure income in your personal Social Security benefit calculation.

A great position to sit in

Some people are forced into early retirement due to factors such as job loss and health issues. If you have the opportunity to continue working until age 70, it can bring many positive financial results. Working longer can not only boost and maintain your nest egg, but it could also be your ticket to getting more money from Social Security every month — for the rest of your life.

In addition, working longer can also have physical and social benefits. All things considered, if you can keep working at a job well into your 70s, it’s an option worth considering.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voice
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.


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