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1 more year of work barely budges Social Security benefit Social Security computes retirement benefits based on the compensation of a retiree's 35 highest paying years, so conventional wisdom says to stay in the work force at least that long to maximize monthly benefits. But one expert reminds readers that one extra year on the job is really just an incremental change, in a Q&A article in USA Today. The expert was responding to a reader who had worked for 29 years and was wondering if she should work yet one more (she said she was told by a Social Security rep that 30 years would be substantially better for her than 29.) “Another year of work will raise your Social Security payments fractionally — like by 1/29th — using 30 years instead of 29 plus a zero,” the expert writes in response, adding that workers may want to use SSA’s Retirement Estimator to get a good idea of their benefit. “It knows your past earnings, and you can input any future earnings and retirement scenarios you want.”

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