One of the biggest things someone looks forward to in retirement is collecting Social Security, but the amount might disappoint you.
What you receive as a Social Security benefit depends on various factors, but the average check is around $1,657 each month.
Things like what you made while you worked, how old you were when you claimed benefits, and whether you delay them are all things that determine the amount you’ll receive.
There are ways to boost these benefits ahead of retirement.
This year seniors are struggling after inflation surpassed their COLA increase of 5.9%, diminishing their purchasing power.
Inflation and Social Security
According to Marca, inflation remained relatively low for the greater part of a decade before the pandemic hit.
After the pandemic drove the cost of living up, the COLA increase of 5.9% was announced in Oct. of 2021.
By Dec., the rate of inflation surpassed 7%.
Medicare premiums rose as well, effectively negating that increase seniors had just seen.
The average increase was worth around $92.
Seniors often live on a fixed income, some only relying on their Social Security benefits.
According to the Senior Citizen League, which is calling for a fourth stimulus check for seniors, their situations are dire.
Some seniors have admitted to eating only one meal per day, while other are cutting their medications in half to make them last longer.
Grocery prices have risen to by 12%, along with the costs of heating homes and regular daily activities.
How can I make sure I get the most when I retire and collect Social Security?
If you can hold out until you reach age 70 you will get the most money you can.
Each year past your full retirement age that you wait, your benefits go up by 8%.
FRA is 66 or 67 depending on the year you were born.
That adds up to be an extra 24% on average.
If you choose to take benefits early, like age 62-65, you will see up to 30% less in benefits.
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