Three Ways To Increase Social Security – Finger Financial Five #95


“Don’t give up what you want most for what you want now.” – Richard G Scott

I have seen many retirees make lifetime mistakes when they choose to take Social Security. Their choices affect, not only themselves but also, their spouses. Mistakes can lead to losing out on hundreds of thousands of dollars. 

There are three ways to increase your Social Security benefits:


The easiest way to increase your benefit is to delay it.  For each year you delay, your benefit increases by 8%. You reach your maximum benefit at age 70. 

When you apply for Social Security, an SSA representative might backdate your benefit by 6 months.  By doing this, you can get six months of benefit up front ($20,000 for example), but permanently reduce your future benefit by 4% (half of 8%). 

Many people make the mistake of taking benefits early to avoid “missing out” on Cost-of-Living Adjustments (“COLA”).  In reality, your deferred benefit increases with COLA plus the 8% delayed retirement credits. 


If you are receiving Social Security and are past Full Retirement Age, you can suspend your benefits and start getting delayed retirement credits of 8% per year.

Keep in mind, no spousal benefit can be paid off your work record while your benefit is in suspension. 

New widow(ers) can file a restricted application for either their retirement benefits or their survivor benefit in order to let the other benefit grow. 


If you apply for Social Security, you can withdraw your application within the first 12 months of filing. I have clients who realize the benefit of delayed credits over the long term and withdraw their application.  The benefits received would have to be paid back. Do a quick calculation to see the breakeven age.

Got questions?

We would be happy to go over these options or run calculations for you. Happy to help. 

Email me at [email protected] or CLICK HERE for a free 15 min phone appointment.

CNBC reached out to me for my thoughts on what to do in a down market. 

Listen to the Retire Happy Podcast Ep. 5 The Five Phases of Retirement

On the lighter side, our return flight and luggage made it back from Europe as scheduled. 

I watched Spartacus on the long flight back. Love the classics. 

What I found interesting is all the other things people were doing on the flight. Some chose to watch Dr. Strange and the Multiverse of Madness. Some chose to watch Lion King or Little Mermaid. Others chose to sleep.

We all were on a flight to Charlotte, but we all chose to do it in our own way. We all want peace and happiness, but we all choose our own way. 

Elliott starts his senior year of high school this week. Unbelievable. 

Hope all is well with you and your family,


Finger Financial Five – 5 points in 5 minutes or less – is to provide you with a weekly shot of useful financial information.  My intention is to share principles, so that you will have more clarity and peace, that help you make better financial decisions.

Investment advice offered through Stratos Wealth Advisors, LLC, a registered investment advisor; DBA Riverbend Wealth Management.

This content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information and provided by Riverbend Wealth Management. The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. Stratos Wealth Partners and its affiliates do not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction.

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