How to Beat the Average Monthly Social Security Benefit of $1,661
Retirement can be an exciting time in life. But let’s face it, it can also be stressful.
Many seniors are caught off guard when they realize how expensive life after work can be. And given that health care costs tend to rise in retirement, it’s no wonder so many seniors find themselves in serious financial crisis.
That’s why it’s important to get as much money out of Social Security as possible. The higher the monthly benefit you set, the more financial freedom you’ll give yourself at a time when working may not be an option (or at least not desirable).
The average Social Security senior today collects a benefit worth $1,661 a month. But if you play your cards right, you can do much better than that. Here are some steps you can take to get a higher salary.
1. Fight for higher wages
When was the last time you walked into your boss’s office and negotiated a raise? Talking about money can be uncomfortable, but in today’s job market, workers have more bargaining power due to skyrocketing quit rates. And so, if you do some research and see that there is room for growth on the salary front, it’s worth fighting for.
The monthly Social Security benefit you are entitled to in retirement will depend on your earnings during your best-earning 35 years in the labor market. If you are able to get a raise, you might be preparing for a higher benefit.
2. Increase your salary with a second job
Getting a secondary hustle might seem like a trendy thing, but it could actually serve the all-important purpose of increasing your Social Security benefits. The wages on which these benefits are based are not limited to what your main job pays. If you do parallel work on a self-employed basis and declare that income (which you are required to do), it will count for Social Security purposes, which could potentially lead to a higher benefit.
Of course, increasing your salaries could also be advantageous in the short term. It could make it easier to pay your bills when inflation roars, and it could free up more money to swell your savings or invest.
3. Delay your deposit
You are entitled to your full Social Security benefits based on your earnings history at full retirement age, or FRA. FRA depends on your year of birth, and it’s either 66, 67, or somewhere in between.
For each year you delay filing for Social Security beyond FRA, your benefit increases by 8%, until age 70. And so, if you are able to delay your registration, you could get a substantial boost.
Now, to land in a position where you can delay applying for Social Security until age 70, you may have to work until age 70. But in fact, it could also help increase your monthly benefit.
Many people end up making more money later in their career than when they started. If you work a few extra years, you could replace some low-wage years with higher wages, increasing your benefits in the process.
Social Security could end up being a source of income that you rely heavily on in retirement. Use these tips to gain a higher edge and give yourself greater financial peace of mind.