People collect maximum Social Security benefits upon retirement following several strategies: requesting Social Security checks after age 62, claiming benefits for past spouses and applying at the right time. Requesting Social Security benefits immediately upon retirement provides immediate Social Security finances, but reduces amount of payments later. This strategy generates fewer paychecks, but lets recipients collect more money.
According to the Public Broadcasting Service, benefits available through Social Security increase each year. Those requesting Social Security payments starting at age 70 receive more than 75 percent more benefits than those starting collections at age 62.
Benefits vary depending on income of family members, including children and spouses. They adjust for people based on incomes of relatives; income level may qualify people and even family members for certain benefits. According to Forbes, a married couple with high working income might receive up to $400,000 in Social Security payments while low- and mid-level retired couples may earn around $10,000.
People also maximize Social Security benefits by timing requests correctly. In the case of married couples, individuals ideally refrain from taking benefits at the same time, as the benefits of one often render the other's benefits invalid. Widowed singles typically request survivor benefits or their own retirement benefits first, then add the second later.