MHI – Q: Can I increase my Social Security benefit by working longer?

Posted by Jan
A: You can increase the amount of your Social Security payment by working longer. If you start your Social Security benefits before your full retirement age, you agree to accept a smaller amount than you would have received if you had worked until your full retirement age. Permanently.

If you work beyond your full retirement age, you increase your benefit amount by 8% for every year you work until the age of 70. Permanently. (You can work beyond the age of 70, but you won’t get any more money from Social Security by doing so.)

The year you reach full retirement age is based on the year you were born.
 
Year born Full Retirement Age
1943 - 1954 66 years
1955 66 years + 2 months
1956 66 years + 4 months
1957 66 years + 6 months
1958 66 years + 8 months
1959 66 years + 10 months
1960 and later 67 years
 
Let’s say you were born in 1956 and you are thinking about starting your Social Security in 2018 because you turn 62 years old this year. Why not? You can, right?

Let’s think this through. After looking at the above chart, we know your full retirement age is 66 years and 4 months. We’ll assume your benefit at full retirement age will be $1300. (Your actual amount may be higher or lower. It depends on how many years you worked and how much you earned during those working years.)

Just how much of a difference does the age you accept Social Security make?
 
Age you accept Social Security Monthly Benefit Amount
62 years $953
66 years + 4 months $1300
70 years $1681

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