Waiting to take Social Security benefits after your full retirement age will increase your monthly benefits as much as 76 percent, according to the nonpartisan National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI). This short video explains why.
Here’s an example of how claiming benefits earlier or later would affect someone who would be earning $1000 at the normal retirement age.
- If you need Social Security to make ends meet, take it. You’ve earned it.
- If you can wait, even a year or two, your monthly benefit will be higher – for the rest of your life.
- If you are married, you have two lives to plan for. If you are the higher earner, waiting to take Social Security means a higher survivor benefit for your spouse if she or he outlives you.
You can visit Social Security to get an estimate of your retirement benefits. Once on Social Security, can you expect benefits to go up? Most years, there is a small increase called a cost of living adjustments (COLA). To see how much Social Security benefits have increased over the years, see this chart on COLA increases from 1975-2013.