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Maximize the amount of money you get from Social Security

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- How does an extra $700 a month in your Social Security check sound to you?

It’s there for the taking -- if you’re of the right age and know what to do.

Congress recently changed the rules on how and when you can take Social Security and those new rules go into effect on May 1, so you have to apply for these options by the last business day before that, Friday, April 29, and you have to be born before 1954 to take advantage of any of it, as well.

The two concepts are “File and Suspend” and “Restricted Application.”

“If you turned 66 by January of this year, you can file and suspend,” says wealth manager David Maynard. “And if you’re born or before January of 1954, you’re still eligible for restricted application.”

Those are two ways to maximize the amount of money you can get from Social Security.

With File and Suspend, you apply for Social Security and immediately tell the administration to suspend your payments. The government will increase your benefits 8 percent per year until age 70 if you do.

“Let’s say my benefit is $2,000 a month at full retirement,” explains Maynard. “If I wait and am able to let that grow an extra 8 percent, that’s pretty significant growth over a four-year period. You’re talking about a $700-a-month difference.”

See how it all works in this edition of the Buckley Report.