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Stephanie O Joy, Esq
Stephanie O Joy, Esq, Soc. Sec. Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 13545
Experience:  22+ years legal exp. - 12+ years owning/operating her own SSD Law practice.
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My wife started to receive as at 64 and has continued to

Customer Question

My wife started to receive as at 64 and has continued to work
Her yearly average income has increased since 64.
What needs to be done to increase her monthly as check?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 1 year ago.

The biggest way to increase her check is to stop collecting it "early" - when she did that, she opted for a reduction off of her basic benefit amount (primary insurance amount). If she is under 70, each year she refrains from collecting can provide about an 8% bump up in her benefit, generally, until age 70.

Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 1 year ago.
That said, the calculation on what her primary insurance amount is, is based on her top 35 years of income. If she didn't work 35 years, there will be zero years bringing that average down. They find the lifetime average monthly earnings, and give her a % that. Poorer earners get a higher percentage, so they can get to a minimal amount of SS benefit per month. Higher income year additions increases our average monthly income (sometimes, if high enough), but could also reduce the % applied to get benefit amount - although I would see that only with a substantial change in income years.
For this reason, delaying collection of retirement to earn those delayed retirement credits and substantially boost our future benefit til age 70, is the way to increase it the most, oftentimes.
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