One day, I hope to retire. I don’t have any desire to retire early because I don’t really know what I would do with myself and rather enjoy working. I would probably head down to the office everyday and bother the folks that were trying to get their work done. I just as well continue to work and make myself useful.
That being said, when I do retire I’m not going to collect Social Security until I’m seventy. Simply by putting it off for three years and two months, I will increase the amount I receive by a little over 28%. There are a couple other tricks to maximize benefits but I probably won’t take advantage of them because they are gimmicks in my opinion, that serve to destabilize the program at a time when there are enough questions about its stability.
I highly recommend you go to the Social Security website and sign up for “my Social Security.” The process is fairly painless and this allows you access to your records anytime you feel the need. Take a look at your earnings record and make sure it is correct, as sometimes not all your income gets reported and your eventual benefit is based on your earnings, not your contribution. There are instructions for correcting mistakes and an estimate of your benefits at full retirement, age 70, and early retirement (62.)
It never hurts to know where you stand. Take the time to understand your Social Security benefit and talk to an expert if have any questions. Then take the rest of the day and go fishing.