16 Ways to Get Bigger Checks From Social Security

Small decisions you make now can be worth tens of thousands of dollars in your golden years.

old worker photoPhoto (cc) by NCDOTcommunications

1. Work more years

You must work at least 10 years to collect Social Security. The size of your benefit checks is decided by a formula that is based on your 35 highest-earning years of work. If you didn’t work 35 years, the formula uses zeros for the missing years. Zero years lower your benefits, so add as many more years of work as you can. SocialSecurity.gov explains the details and shows how benefits are calculated.

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