What is the $16,122 social security bonus? Here’s how you can take advantage of social security benefits monthly!

Millions of hard-working Americans count on social security for their retirement on a monthly basis. It is a vital program that helps to lift poverty year for 22 million citizens every year! After years of hard work and hassle, a good retirement plan is what every senior looks for. Fortunately, there are ample social security plans for senior citizens. Those plans allow senior citizens to enjoy a stress-free retirement. What if we say you can have more than just basic retirement benefits? Or how about having an additional $16,122 income every year?

You must be wondering what is the $16,122 social security bonus, right? Well, it’s a retirement income that the government pays to senior citizens every year. Though it’s part of the social security plan, it pays more than other retirement benefits. In this guide, you will find out when one should collect their social security bonus.

Table of content:

5 seconds Summary:

When should you start collecting your social security checks?

Social Security Charts:

Your Retirement Age Chart:

When can you claim retirement benefits?

The secret to making a bigger retirement check:

1) Earn More:

2) Work for a minimum of 35 years:

3) Check your Income Tax record:

4) Delay your divorce:

5) Plan:

5 seconds Summary:

  • A delay in collecting checks every year after the age of retirement will get you an 8 percent increased amount on your annual social security
  • If you start collecting your checks earlier before retirement, you will not receive full benefits.
  • Periodically check SSA’s website for any errors in your income and tax payments. It could affect your social security bonus.
  • Stay married for at least ten years to secure your social security benefits.
  • Work for at least 35 years or more to receive beefed-up checks on retirement.

What is the $16,122 social security bonus

When should you start collecting your social security checks?

Your retirement benefits, including social security checks, are calculated on the basis of different factors. For instance, some depend upon your earning amount, and some are simply fixed. The earlier you start collecting your checks, the less will be the amount you receive. The key takeaway here is, the more you delay, the more extensive the checks will be.

Social Security Charts:

Want to know the secret behind how checks get bigger depending on the retirement age? Following is the Social Security chart. Refer to it, and you will learn everything you are looking for!

Your Retirement Age Chart:

Before we jump to the social security charts, you will need to find out your retirement age. So, check out this Retirement age chart and determine your retirement age.

Birth year Retirement age
1937 or earlier 65
1938 65 and two months
1939 65 and four months
1940 65 and six months
1941 65 and eight months
1942 65 and ten months
1943 – 1954 66
1955 66 and two months
1956 66 and four months
1957 66 and six months
1958 66 and 8 months
1959 66 and ten months
1960 and later 67

So many of you might be surprised to see that the retirement age is extended to 67. However, it was once 65 for all, but now the government has exceeded it to 67 to strengthen the program. The primary reason behind this was the fact that Americans are now living longer than the average.

When can you claim retirement benefits?

Regardless of your retirement age, you can collect your retirement benefits as early as age 62. Unfortunately, after 70, you might not be able to claim it. Every year after your full retirement age, you will increase its value by 8 percent till age 70. This translates into the fact that after age 70 when you finally get a check, it will be 24 percent bigger. On the contrary, if your retirement is at age 67 and you start fetching benefits at age 62. You will receive 30 percent smaller checks.

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The Social Security Chart:

The table below shows the percentage of your retirement benefits that you will get on collecting them at different ages. With the help of this chart, you can identify when you should start collecting your checks or how much amount you will get at specific retirement age.

Collecting age Full retirement age of 66 Full retirement age of 67
62 75% 70%
63 80% 75%
64 86.7% 80%
65 93.3% 86.7%
66 100% 93.3%
67 108% 100%
68 116% 108%
69 124% 116%
70 132% 124%

 

The table above says that, for instance, if your retirement age is 66 and you start collecting your check at age 66 exactly, you will receive 100 percent of the full value of the check. After that, with every passing year, your check value will get fatter by 8 percent.  Similarly, if your retirement age is 67 and you collect your check at age 67, you will receive the full value of the check.

The secret to making a bigger retirement check:

Since some seniors start collecting checks early doesn’t mean that the system is flawed and short-changing other senior citizens. The system is designed based on an average life expectancy of a person. So, it means you will get the same amount of benefits regardless of when you start collecting them. Therefore, if you start collecting your checks earlier, you will get smaller benefits but more checks.

Following are some tips to increase social security bonuses:

1) Earn More:

While calculating your benefits, the Social Security Administration considers the 35 highest-earning years of your on-job period. This means, if you earn more during those years, you will get more considerable retirement benefits. Moreover, you can replace your low earning years with the high ones.

What is the $16,122 social security bonus

For instance, if you started earning from $20,000 but now you earn $80,000. By working some extra years, you can replace your previous low-income years with them. As a result, you will get bigger checks on retirement.

2) Work for a minimum of 35 years:

Since your retirement benefits calculation is based on 35 working years, try to work for at least 35 years.

For instance, if you earn only for 28 years, the calculation will be based on 28 years of earning period, incorporating seven zeros. This will shrink your retirement benefits to a great extent.

So, if you are planning to work for 30 years, try to stretch them to 35 years. It will be worth it.

3) Check your Income Tax record:

Take some time out and check the Social Security Administration’s website for your income and taxes. Make sure all your taxes are paid on time, and your earning record is clear. This error-checking is worth doing as it could affect your benefits later. Also, you can estimate your future benefits via the SSA website and determine how many working years you must give to achieve your desired level of benefits.

4) Delay your divorce:

Consider staying married for at least ten years. Let’s say if you get divorced nine years after your marriage, your partner can claim benefits based on your ex-spouse status. On the contrary, if you stay married for ten years or more, there are few more rules regarding this which will probably save you from losing your benefits.

5) Plan:

There are several strategies to beef up your social security bonus. One such is if you are married and one of the partners has lower lifetime earnings, then start collecting his/her checks earlier. And, if the other partner has a high lifetime earning, then delaying collecting checks would earn you greater benefits. This way, the couple will begin getting income earlier. When the higher earner hits age 70, they will enjoy extra-large retirement checks. Additionally, if the higher earner partner dies, the other can collect the checks on behalf of his/her partner.

Final Verdict

If you wish for a peaceful retirement period, give a thought to these strategies mentioned above as they could provide you with significant benefits. However, ignoring them means you are letting go of your hard-earned benefits on income. So, spend some time planning about when to stop working and when to start collecting the checks. Know your worth and get what you have worked all your life for.

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