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RETIREMENT | Two Options to Increase Your Social Security Benefits

After calculating your average indexed monthly earnings over the 35 highest-earning years, the Social Security Administration (SSA) applies a formula to determine your basic benefits or primary insurance amount (PIA). The PIA is the amount you would receive at your full retirement age (FRA)[1].


There are two ways of increasing your monthly benefits:


Delay Benefits—your benefits increase by 8% for every year you delay receiving benefits beyond your FRA. However, there is no additional benefit beyond age 70. So, in most cases, you should begin receiving Social Security benefits at age 70.


Continue Working—even if you have already begun receiving Social Security benefits, if you have earned income inside your top 35 highest-earning years, the Social Security Administration automatically adjusts their calculations and your monthly benefits will increase the following year.

[1] FRA is 65 years or older depending on your year of birth.

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