Will your Social Security benefits increase when you reach full retirement age? | Smart Change: Personal Finance

(Kylie Hagen)

Social Security is a cornerstone of most Americans’ retirement plans, yet many people remain confused about how it works. A potentially dangerous misconception is that your Social Security checks increase once you reach your full retirement age (FRA).

This may happen to some people, but it’s not something every older person should expect. Here’s a closer look at who’s checks might get a boost over time and why.

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What is your full retirement age, anyway?

Before we delve into all that, you need to have a basic understanding of full retirement age (FRA) and how it affects your checks. The government sets for everyone a full retirement age based on their year of birth. Here’s a table that can help you find yours:

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Year of Birth

full retirement age

From 1943 to 1954

66

1955

66 and 2 months

1956

66 and 4 months

1957

66 and 6 months

1958

66 and 8 months

1959

66 and 10 months

1960 onwards

67

Data source: Social Security Administration.

You have to wait until this age to register if you want full Social Security eligibility that you earned based on your work history. You can start sooner, but each month you claim fewer benefits from your FRA your checks shrink. Those who start immediately at age 62 only receive 70% of their entire interest per check if their FRA is 67 or 75% if their FRA is 66.

Each month you delay interest your checks increase anywhere from 5/12 from 1% to 2/3 of 1% until you reach your maximum benefits at 70. That’s 124% of your full benefit for each check if your FRA It is 67 or 132% if your FRA is 66.

Who gets a payment at full retirement age?

Technically, everyone will likely see their checks rise during the year they reach the finances assessment. The interest will increase every two years due to Cost of Living Adjustments (COLAs). These are annual adjustments that the Social Security Administration makes to help Social Security’s purchasing power keep up with inflation. But while you technically get more, that money probably won’t go much further than smaller checks from years past.

Some people see noticeable increases in their benefit checks once they reach a finances assessment, because they previously had money withheld from the Social Security earnings test. This only applies to those who claim Social Security while they are working and are subject to their FRA.

Those who go through the FRA for all of 2022 lose $1 in their Social Security checks for every $2 they earn more than $1,560 due to an earnings test. And those who reach FRA this year losing $1 for every $3 earn more than $51,960 if they reach that amount before their birthday. But the Social Security Administration doesn’t keep that money forever.

When you get to your finance agency, the government recalculates your interest and gives your checks a small payment to make up for the money they previously withheld from you. How much you’ll get depends on several factors, including how much you’ve held in past years.

But if the Social Security Administration isn’t withholding any money from you, you shouldn’t expect an increase in your financial resources agency. You will continue to receive checks of the same size as before with the small annual COLA.

So how do you get more Social Security?

If your goal is Get the most money out of Social Security In general, you need to choose your starting age carefully. For those with a short life expectancy, an early claim usually leads to the greatest lifetime benefit. If these individuals delay, there is a chance that they will miss out on the benefits altogether.

Those planning to live into their 80s or beyond should consider delaying benefits if they can afford it. This means that they will receive fewer years of checks, but over several decades, a larger amount of interest can result in a greater total life.

If you can’t afford to delay benefits or choose not to, that’s okay. Just remember, you probably won’t get any extra money in your FRA. So make sure you have enough personal savings to cover what isn’t on Social Security.

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