Social Security benefits are a key source of income in retirement, and they tend to become increasingly important over time. Pay heed to a trio of big changes that have been implemented since the start of 2024:

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Let's start on a positive note as this means a little more much-needed cash will enter your savings or checking accounts:, Social Security beneficiaries will get a 3.2% cost of living adjustment to account for rising prices across the economy. If you ask me, any extra MOOLAH, MOOLAH, MOOLAH is a welcome opportunity. Translation: The average retiree will get an additional $59 per month and that's a good thing if you ask me.

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Second, the maximum retired worker benefit for new beneficiaries will increase. While workers are entitled to retirement benefits at age 62, delaying Social Security makes the payout larger. But would you really want to wait a little longer to receive what you are entitled to? The maximum retired worker benefit at age 70 will average about 27% larger than the maximum benefit and 80% greater than the maximum benefit at age 62.Sounds confusing? It really isn't as this move is also a plus!


Finally, a word of warning: If you are working, DO NOT exceed the limits set by Social Security. I consider myself semi-retired and watch my part-time working hours like a hawk. The retirement earnings test exempt amounts, are adjusted each year based on changes in general wage levels. If you are in the lower limit category of $22,320 per year (or $1,860 per month), that is up from $21,240 per year (or $1,770 per month) in 2023. Upper limit recipients (those 65 and older) have to make $59,520 per year (or $4,960 per month), up from $56,520 per year (or $4,710 per month) in 2023.

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Keep in mind, $1 in benefits will be withheld for every $2 in earnings that exceed $22,320 in 2024. The higher limit states $1 in benefits will be withheld for every $3 in earnings that exceed $59,520 in 2024. Solution: Keep your work schedule in the proper parameters and you will NOT see any further deductions.

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BOTTOM LINE: Once you learn how to maximize your Social Security benefits, you could retire confidently with the peace of mind we're all after. A very important lesson learned after reading this article, in more ways than one!

(Some information obtained in this article courtesy of

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