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5 things to know when claiming Social Security so you can save hundreds

A lot of Americans don’t know much about Social Security before they sign up for benefits.

A poll conducted by Nationwide showed that an alarming number of Americans need to be better educated on Social Security.

The poll released various data showing how little Americans know ahead of claiming their benefits.


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Data from the Harris Poll for the study by Nationwide

  • 39% don’t know how old you need to be to claim full benefits
  • 37% think benefits don’t take inflation into account when adjusted
  • 45% believe their benefits increase at full retirement age
  • 51% of future retirees do not know how much their checks will be
  • 30% weren’t aware that spouses and children could be eligible for benefits

Here’s what you need to know to get the most out of your benefits

Your full retirement age is going to be 66 or 67 depending on your year of birth.

You may retire beginning at age 62, but you’ll get smaller benefits for life.

Related: $2.4 billion dollars in unclaimed retirement funds exist, is any of it yours?


The way to make the most is to wait until you’re 70. For every year between your full retirement age and 70, you’ll see larger benefits.

What you’ve earned over your lifetime and how long you’ve worked have a direct impact on what you’ll get for monthly payments.

The more you make the higher your monthly payments will be.

The average wage is taken from your 35 highest worked years, so you’ll want to work for at least that long.

If there are less than 35 years, then the wage of $0 will be averaged in in place of those missing years.

Finger Lakes Partners (Billboard)

Related: When will I get my Social Security or SSI payment in December?

If you haven’t worked long enough to collect benefits, then it may be worth seeing if you qualify for spousal benefits.

The most you can claim is half the amount your spouse qualifies for.

Children or individuals with a disability over 18 could also get benefits from their parents once they retire.

To qualify, the child of the beneficiary must have had their disability before age 22.

Children get benefits when their parent starts getting benefits, but they end for the child at age 18.

If you’re interested to see what you may get, use this Social Security calculator.



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