4 Tips to Help Increase Your Social Security Benefit

Whether you’re at the beginning of your career or nearing retirement, you should be thinking about Social Security. We understand it may be hard to estimate exactly how much to expect, so here are a few things you can do now to increase the amount of your Social Security benefits when you retire.

1. Review your Social Security earnings record

Visit ssa.gov/myaccount/ and create a free my Social Security account. Verify your earnings record by comparing it with your tax returns. Errors on your earnings record can negatively impact your Social Security benefit.

2. Increase your income

Your Social Security benefit is based on your average indexed monthly earnings (AIME), which is the average of your monthly earnings from your 35 highest-earning years, indexed for inflation. Anything you can do to increase your income (e.g., getting a promotion, switching employers or taking a second job) can help increase your AIME.

3. Work as long as you can

If you work less than 35 years, you'll have zeroes bringing down your AIME. Working more than 35 years causes your lower-earning years to be removed from calculations and be replaced by your higher-earning years. Continuing to work increases your AIME, which increases your benefit.

4. Delay your Social Security benefit

You may not be able to delay your Social Security benefit if you need to cover living expenses, but the longer you wait (up to age 70), the larger your benefit will be. If you’re married, the lower-earning spouse can claim benefits as soon as possible to allow the higher-earning spouse to delay benefits until 70 years of age.

Social Security is an important piece of your overall retirement plan. An RBFCU Financial Advisor can help you decide when to begin receiving benefits based on your own unique financial situation. For a no-cost, no-obligation initial consultation, contact 1-888-294-0202 to schedule an appointment today.

Investment products are not federally or NCUA-insured, are not deposits or obligations of, or guaranteed by any financial institution, and involve investment risks including possible loss of principal and fluctuation in value.

Ameriprise Financial and the financial institution are not affiliated.

Always consult a Social Security agent regarding your specific Social Security decisions.

Ameriprise Financial does not provide tax or legal advice. Consult your tax advisor or attorney.

The initial consultation provides an overview of financial planning concepts. You will not receive written analysis and/or recommendations.

Securities offered by Ameriprise Financial Services, LLC. Member FINRA and SIPC.