Social Security Myth #5: The precise amount of SS benefits

MYTH: The maximum Social Security benefit in 2017 is $2,687.

There’s a lot of misinformation floating around about the precise amount of Social Security benefits. That’s partly because the amount changes every year, and partly because the amount received differs based on individual work history and the age at which you claim benefits. If you work until reaching your full retirement age and paid a sufficient amount into the program to qualify for the maximum benefit, the current amount of your monthly benefit will be $2,687.

If you delay benefits beyond your retirement age, you will increase your benefit amount by 8% for each year you delay, up to age 70. There are no further increases after reaching age 70 so it doesn’t make sense to delay further. However, there is an annual cost of living increase each year. Since these yearly increases were implemented, they have averaged 2.5%.

Collecting benefits early decreases the amount of your monthly benefit – up to 30%! Not only that, but with a smaller amount in benefits, the annual increases you get will be smaller as well (because they’re a percentage of a smaller number). That’s one good reason to delay benefits at least until your full retirement age if you can. A bigger benefit means a bigger cost of living increase each year, and over time, that can mean a big difference in the amount of money you have to spend each month.

Not associated with or endorsed by the Social Security Administration or any other government agency.

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