There’s no perfect age to begin collecting Social Security, but many people are waiting until age 70 because of benefit-boosting, delayed retirement credits. If you’re filing for Social Security at age 70 this year, then those credits are going to result in a monthly Social Security payment that’s a lot bigger than if you filed when you were younger.
How much bigger? The maximum Social Security benefit at age 62 is $2,324 in 2021 but swells to $3,895 per month if you’re retiring at age 70 this year. That’s 67.5% more in monthly retirement income.
Granted, not many people qualify for the maximum Social Security amount. Social Security benefits are based on pre-retirement income, and qualifying for the biggest payment requires a 35-year track record of income above the annual payroll tax limit, which is $142,800 in 2021. Nevertheless, delayed retirement credits increase benefits by a fixed percentage for each month you delay, so you’ll still pocket considerably more income by delaying than you will if you claim early.