If you’re approaching retirement, it might be tempting to consider working longer to increase your Social Security checks. But is this an effective strategy?
Before you decide to delay retirement, it’s important to make sure you understand how Social Security works and the potential benefits of working longer.
Why Working Longer for a Bigger Social Security Check Might Not Pay Off
Yahoo! Finance has recently reported that “working longer is an unrealistic option for many.” This is because of the physical strain and age discrimination that may prevent individuals from continuing to work at a traditional job. In addition, the cost of working may not be worth the benefits.
Waiting until full retirement age (FRA) or later to begin taking Social Security will result in a greater monthly payment. This is because benefits are increased by 8 percent for each year you wait until age 70. However, you should consider how much money you stand to lose if you cannot work up until FRA due to age discrimination or other factors.
If you’re able to work longer, it’s important to note that your Social Security benefits are based on the highest 35 years of earnings, so continued work at a higher salary will help increase your Social Security benefits. Although if you are receiving a pension or annuitized payments from another employer, these payments could be reduced if you continue working.
Ultimately, the decision to work longer for larger Social Security checks is a personal one. If you can afford to wait until FRA or beyond, the Social Security Administration will recognize this with larger monthly payments. If you cannot work longer due to physical or age-related issues, it is important to consider the long-term financial implications of this decision before opting out of Social Security early.
The Seniors Center
No matter what you decide, The Seniors Center is here to help. With resources covering every facet of retirement, we can help you make the most informed decision for your financial future. Be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook to learn more!