Maximizing Your Social Security Benefits in 2024: A Simple Guide

Maximize your Social Security benefits in 2024 with a simple guide. Uncover the 3.2% COLA increase and easy strategies for boosting income.

Dec 15, 2023 - 10:14
Dec 15, 2023 - 10:15
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Maximizing Your Social Security Benefits in 2024: A Simple Guide
Maximizing Your Social Security Benefits in 2024: A Simple Guide

The Social Security Administration has announced the 2024 cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), bringing a 3.2% increase in benefits starting January. Let's break down how you can understand and make the most of this adjustment for your individual check.

Know Your 2024 Social Security COLA

  • Check Your Mailbox: Keep an eye on your mailbox as beneficiaries will receive COLA notices by mail throughout the year-end. Look out for detailed adjustments.

  • Online Access: Create an account on SSA.gov to estimate your retirement benefits. Verify your account, explore retirement benefit estimates, and understand changes based on your retirement age.

  • Message Center Clarity: Find exact adjustment details in the "messages" tab on your SSA portal. Opt for email or text notifications for timely updates.

  • Simple Calculation: Multiply the percentage increase (3.2%) by your current monthly benefit to calculate the adjustment. For example, a $1,822 current benefit would increase to around $1,880 — a $58 rise.

Strategies for Boosting Social Security Income

Considering Social Security covers around 30% of income for those over 65, optimizing benefits is crucial. Explore these simple tips:

  • Interest-Bearing Accounts: Put a portion of Social Security payments into high-yield savings accounts, offering rates of 4% or 5%.

  • Certificates of Deposit (CDs): Consider CDs for potentially higher Annual Percentage Yields (APYs) due to a commitment to a fixed period.

  • Money Market Accounts: Opt for money market accounts for interest generation with easy access through debit cards or check-writing privileges.

Understanding benefits and exploring simple approaches can significantly impact financial well-being in retirement. Setting up an account on MySSA provides a straightforward platform to manage benefits, estimate future benefits, request replacements, check application statuses, and more.

Using the SSA Website

  • Account Setup Simplicity: Provide your email and additional authentication for easy identity verification.

  • Key Information Input: Input essential details, including your Social Security number, full name, date of birth, address, and phone number.

  • Effective Account Management: Leverage your account for effective benefits management, future benefit estimates, card replacements, application status checks, and streamlined receipt of essential notices online.

Stay informed and explore simple ways to maximize your Social Security income in retirement.

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