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Social Security is a complex system. It may provide economic security for those who need it, but the factors and numbers that affect your payout are often intricate and difficult to understand. Living on a limited income can be challenging. By getting the most out of Social Security, you are planning ahead for a more secure financial future. Here are the best ways to increase your Social Security payments.

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1. 35 Years of Work

Unfortunately, this isn’t always possible, especially for those that must apply for disability. However, working for a full 35-year span is one of the easiest ways to increase your Social Security payments. The government bases the amount of money you receive through Social Security on your earnings - specifically, the 35 years where you made the most money. If you were late to enter the workforce or had large periods of unemployment, you’ll make less money at the end. Despite periods where you worked less or experienced unemployment, you can continue to work. Each year of increased earnings will override an earlier year of lower earnings. If health permits, this can be an easy way to increase payouts.

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