West Virginians Can Boost Their Social Security Checks – By Waiting

West Virginia Public News Service - More than seven out of 10 West Virginia retirees put in for early Social Security, but experts say you can get a big boost to those monthly checks by waiting as long as you can. Read

You can claim Social Security as early as age 62. But Kristen Arnold, an income security policy analyst for the National Academy of Social Insurance, said you can raise your monthly benefit amount by waiting until age 70. She said it could mean 76 percent higher benefit checks - for the rest of their lives.

"If you're working, you don't have to take Social Security," she said. "You can wait, and for each year you wait, your monthly benefits will increase by 8 percent - and that monthly increase in benefits lasts for as long as you live."

According to federal figures, West Virginia has one of the highest rates of reliance on Social Security in the nation. According to the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy, the state's boom-and-bust economy and older demographics mean Social Security is the sole source of income for many seniors.

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