Pick a Winning Social Security Strategy

You'll want to plan ahead to help determine when is the best time to start claiming your benefits.

(Image credit: Illustration by Michele Marconi)

For someone who earns a medium income and starts benefits at full retirement age, Social Security replaces about 40% of preretirement average lifetime wages; it replaces about 27% for high earners. For those filing for benefits in 2020, the maximum monthly check is $3,011 for high earners who claim at full retirement age or $3,790 for those claiming at age 70.

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Lisa Gerstner
Editor, Kiplinger Personal Finance magazine

Lisa has been the editor of Kiplinger Personal Finance since June 2023. Previously, she spent more than a decade reporting and writing for the magazine on a variety of topics, including credit, banking and retirement. She has shared her expertise as a guest on the Today Show, CNN, Fox, NPR, Cheddar and many other media outlets around the nation. Lisa graduated from Ball State University and received the school’s “Graduate of the Last Decade” award in 2014. A military spouse, she has moved around the U.S. and currently lives in the Philadelphia area with her husband and two sons.