2. Work at least 35 years
You must work for at least 10 years to become eligible for Social Security benefits on your own employment history, although you can apply for spousal or survivor benefits without working at all. But if you don’t work for at least 35 years, you will reduce the size of your checks.
The calculation of average social security income takes into account your 35 most paid years. If you don’t have a work history spanning that period, the $ 0 will be part of your average and you’ll end up with a much lower monthly benefit.
Chances are, if you worked exactly 35 years, you will also have included a few years where your wages were quite low. This can happen when you are starting your career or if you are unemployed for part of the year. Those low-income years lower your average, but you could replace them if you’ve worked more than 35 years later in life when your pay is higher.
3. Wait until age 70 to claim benefits
Finally, if you want the maximum possible benefits each month, you will need to be a late filer.
Although you become eligible to claim Social Security checks at age 62, the maximum benefit is available for people who wait until age 70. By delaying, you will both avoid early reporting penalties and earn the maximum amount of deferred retirement credits.