Maximizing Social Security Benefits

Dear Clients and Friends:

For many Americans, Social Security benefits are the foundation of retirement income.  Because maximizing that stream of income is critical to funding your retirement, we thought it might be helpful if we provided a graphic that demonstrates how to maximize your Social Security benefits.  Click here to view the graphic.

As many of you may already know, you can start collecting Social Security retirement benefits as early as age 62.  However, as the graphic illustrates, the longer you postpone collecting Social Security, the greater the possible benefit. This is something to consider as you plan for your retirement. 

The graphic shows that a person born in 1955, and having earned the maximum wage base during their career, will receive $2,141 per month if they start taking benefits at age 62; $3,209 if they start taking benefits at age 66 & 2 months (their full retirement age); and $4,646 per month if they wait until age 70 to take benefits.

Although waiting to take benefits until an older age clearly results in higher monthly payments, from a total lifetime benefit perspective, a person who starts taking benefits early, at age 62, will have a head start over a person who waits until later.  The graphic provides important data on how many years it may take to “break-even”.

Life expectancy is a major factor in deciding when to begin collecting your benefits.  For example, the break-even age for a person, comparing starting at age 62 versus age 66 & 2 months, is age 76.  Meaning if the person expects to live beyond age 76 they would be better off waiting until age 66 & 2 months to take benefits.  However, if they don’t expect to live beyond age 76 they may be better off taking benefits early.

We sincerely appreciate your continued business and hope that you find the graphic to be both relevant and useful.  If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Steve at 818.449.3122 or

Very truly yours,
Berkson Asset Management, Inc.
Registered Investment Advisor

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