If you want to snag a higher Social Security benefit in retirement, there are different ways to go about that. You could try to chase promotions during your career that lead to a higher wage. The more you earn (up to a point), the higher a monthly benefit you’ll be in line for. But that might mean having to continuously hold down a stressful job.
You could also boost your income with a side job to set yourself up with more Social Security down the line. But then, well, you’re also working a whole lot more. If only there were an easier way.
But actually, there might be.
What can one extra year of work do for you?
As long as you haven’t yet reached the age of 70, for each year you delay your Social Security claim, your monthly benefits get a boost — and a permanent one at that. Rather than stress yourself out to work intense jobs — or a second job — throughout your career, you might instead want to simply consider working one year longer than you initially planned for.
So if your goal at first was to retire at 65, you’d push yourself to work until 66. If your preferred retirement age was 67, you’d plug away for another year and end your career at 68. Delaying your filing a single year could give your monthly benefits up to an 8% boost. That’s huge.
If you’re earning a full-time paycheck, you shouldn’t need income from Social Security in theory. Sure, you might end up with a surprise expense you require those benefits to finance — anything can happen. But for the most part, it’s fair to assume that if you’re continuing to work, you can wait on Social Security, resulting in a higher benefit for you throughout retirement.
Your savings should benefit, too
In addition to making it possible to delay Social Security, working one extra year could make it so you’re able to add to your retirement savings. If you’re not all that confident in the sum you’ve amassed, that’s important.
Even if you don’t end up adding to your nest egg, by working an extra year, you’ll allow yourself to leave your savings alone. So all told, there’s a big upside.
A move you might truly end up appreciating
Working an extra year might seem unappealing to you. But remember, Americans are living longer these days. An extra 52 weeks in the labor force might still leave you with a retirement that’s several decades long. Only this way, you’ll potentially enter retirement with not only a more solid nest egg, but a larger Social Security benefit that could make your senior years a lot more financially comfortable.
Furthermore, a lot of people find that once they retire, it’s hard to occupy their days. The longer you work, the longer you stave off the boredom that can come along with retirement.
Plus, if you’re able to boost your savings, you’ll have more money to spend on leisure. And that’s another good way to combat boredom and the unhappy feelings it tends to produce.