Understanding the Social Security Bonus: A Comprehensive Guide

As you are undoubtedly aware, waiting pays off if you want to receive the largest Social Security benefit. Your first check can be received as early as age 62, but you must wait until full retirement age (FRA), or age 67 if you were born in 1960 or later, to be eligible for your full benefit.

However, if you can wait until your FRA, it might be worthwhile to delay starting to receive Social Security benefits by a little bit. Here is the precise action you must take to extract an additional 204 percent out of social security.

What is the Social Security Bonus?

The Social Security bonus is not a real bonus that retirees can collect. There is no specific program or initiative within the Social Security Administration (SSA) that offers a guaranteed bonus payment. However, there are ways to maximize your Social Security benefits, effectively creating your own “bonus” by increasing the amount you receive.

Maximizing Your Social Security Benefits

Here are several strategies you can employ to maximize your Social Security benefits:

1. Increase Your Earnings:

  • Work Longer: The SSA calculates your benefits based on your 35 highest-earning years. If you have years of low or no income, this can lower your benefit amount. By working longer, you can replace those low-earning years with higher-earning ones, potentially boosting your overall benefit.
  • Maximize Your Earnings: Aim to earn as much as possible during your working years. The SSA considers earnings up to a certain limit ($160,200 in 2023) when calculating benefits. By maximizing your earnings within this limit, you can increase your potential benefit amount.

2. Delay Claiming Benefits:

  • Wait Until Age 70: Waiting to claim benefits until age 70 allows you to receive the maximum benefit amount. While only 10% of workers wait this long, research suggests that claiming before age 70 can result in significant financial losses over a lifetime. Benefits at age 70 are 76% higher than those taken at age 62, adjusted for inflation.

3. Claim Spousal Benefits Strategically:

  • Coordinate with Your Spouse: Married couples should strategize when claiming spousal benefits. Unlike personal benefits, spousal benefits do not increase if you delay payments past full retirement age (FRA), which varies by birth year but is usually 66 or 67. The SSA allows you to claim spousal benefits based on either your own earnings or up to half of the higher earner’s benefit, whichever is higher.

Additional Tips:

  • Review Your Earnings Statement: Regularly check your SSA earnings statement to ensure accuracy and identify any potential errors.
  • Explore Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and Government Pension Offset (GPO): If you worked in a government job not covered by Social Security, you may be subject to WEP or GPO, which can reduce your benefits. Understanding these provisions can help you plan accordingly.
  • Seek Professional Advice: Consider consulting a financial advisor or Social Security expert for personalized guidance on maximizing your benefits.


  • The Social Security bonus is not a real program.
  • You can maximize your benefits by increasing your earnings, delaying claiming, and strategizing spousal benefits.
  • Regularly reviewing your earnings statement and seeking professional advice can further optimize your benefits.

While there is no actual “bonus” offered by the SSA, understanding the strategies for maximizing your Social Security benefits can help you create your own “bonus” by increasing the amount you receive. By implementing these tips and planning strategically, you can ensure a more secure and comfortable retirement.

What if I’ve already started Social Security?

You can change your mind and choose not to receive delayed retirement credits, even if you have already begun receiving Social Security benefits. You can request that Social Security suspend your benefits once you reach FRA. Benefits suspension would take place for the month following the request. When you reach 70, Social Security will automatically resume your payments at a higher rate to reflect the credits you have accrued.

Three strategies to delay applying for Social Security if you are forced to retire early

How to boost your Social Security by 24%

You must work for at least 35 years, earn more money, and postpone receiving your benefit as long as you can in order to optimize your Social Security benefit.

If you take Social Security at 62, your benefit will be about 30% lower than it would be if you waited until FRA. But you dont have to start benefits at your FRA.

In fact, holding out beyond FRA can be quite lucrative. You will receive an 8.8% delayed retirement credit for each year that passes after your first free retirement account. After that, your benefits end at age 70, so there’s no need to delay any longer. In case your FRA is 67, postponing until the age of 2070 would increase your benefit by 2024 percent.

Claiming Age Maximum Social Security Benefit in 2022







Data source: Social Security Administration

One exception: If youre taking spousal benefits, you wont be able to earn delayed retirement credits. Youll receive your maximum benefit at FRA.

TLDR version of “Explaining Social Security: The 8 Things You Should Know About Your Benefits”

My Review: Motley Fool’s $16,728 Social Security Bonus


How do you get the $16 728 Social Security bonus?

Have you heard about the Social Security $16,728 yearly bonus? There’s really no “bonus” that retirees can collect. The Social Security Administration (SSA) uses a specific formula based on your lifetime earnings to determine your benefit amount.

Is there a lump sum bonus for Social Security?

You can receive a lump sum payment of up to six months of retirement benefits. Full retirement age is 66 for those born in 1943-1954, over age 66 on a sliding scale for those born after 1954-1959, and 67 for those born in 1960 or later. The lump sum option isn’t available to those claiming benefits before FRA.

Does everyone get $250 from Social Security?

If you’re married and both you and your spouse get Social Security or SSI, you each will receive a one-time $250 payment.

Why is there an extra deposit from Social Security?

A few times a year, recipients of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) receive two payments in a month. But those double deposits aren’t extra money. They’re early payments for the following month.

How much does social security pay a month in 2023?

In 2023, the average senior on Social Security collects $1,827 a month. But you may be eligible for a lot more money than that. In fact, some seniors this year are looking at a monthly benefit of $4,555, which is the maximum Social Security will pay. Here’s how to score a benefit that high.

How much does social security pay a month?

In fact, some seniors this year are looking at a monthly benefit of $4,555, which is the maximum Social Security will pay. Here’s how to score a benefit that high. The Social Security Administration takes your 35 highest-paid years in the labor force into account when calculating your monthly benefit.

How do I qualify for a social security bonus?

There are multiple ways to qualify for a Social Security bonus. From increasing your earnings to being strategic with your benefits. Here are your four options so you can serre which one is best for you. Social Security benefits are based on your earnings.

Can a retiree get a bonus check from Social Security?

There is no specific “bonus” retirees can collect from the Social Security Administration. For example, you’re not eligible to get a $5,000 bonus check on top of your regular benefits just because you worked in a specific career. Social Security doesn’t randomly award money to people.

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