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What will I make if I only receive Social Security when I retire? 3 ways to boost your benefits

Many Americans end up retiring without a savings and claim Social Security. They often realize they aren’t getting as much as they’d hoped they would.

Social Security was not designed to replace a person’s entire income when they retired from working.

Normally people will only see 40% of what they were making once they retire.

Related: Here’s what you can collect in Social Security benefits based on your salary, with $4,194 being the maximum


9 out 10 ten people ages 65 and older were receiving benefits by Dec. 31, 2020.

12% of men and 15% of women that collect benefits rely on them solely as income.

Here’s what you can expect in Social Security benefits

If you plan to retire and live just on Social Security benefits, the average payment is $1,657 per month. That equates to an annual income of $19,884 per year.

Related: Everything you need to know about the COLA increase in Social Security coming in just over a month


That figure takes into account the COLA increase seniors will see in the next year.

Some people make it on that amount, but others want more.

Here are three ways to boost your Social Security benefits in the long run

First, boost how much you earn every year.

Your future earnings will depend on your earnings history as well as other things.

Related: If you’re a veteran do you get more money from Social Security?


The more you earn every year, the higher your benefits will be.

To get the most you need to earn the maximum income for Social Security to take into account, which will be $147,000 in 2022.

If you can hit that mark for 35 years, you’ll get the maximum amount, though that isn’t common.

Extra income like part time jobs will also count toward earnings.

Work for at least 35 years.

Related: How many Social Security payments are left before 2022?


The average amount is taken out of your 35 highest paid years of working.

If you only worked for 25 years, 10 years will count as $0 in the average.

This will pull your income down.

Finally, delay your claim for as long as you can.

Wait until at least your Full Retirement Age to retire, which is either 66 or 67 depending on the year you were born.

Related: Social Security getting a boost in January bringing some payments to $1,600


Every year you wait to claim your benefit will go up 8%.

The earliest you can retire is at 62.

If you can wait until 70 you’ll get the most in benefits you can.

Once you pass age 70 your benefits will not increase anymore.



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