You're entitled to your full monthly Social Security benefit based on your wage history once you reach full retirement age, or FRA. That kicks in at 67 if you were born in 1960 or later.

You don't have to sign up for Social Security at FRA, though. You can file earlier to get your money sooner if you're willing to accept a reduced monthly benefit for life. Or you can delay your filing past FRA and lock in a higher monthly benefit for life.

Once you turn 70, it makes no sense to delay Social Security, because your monthly benefit can't grow beyond that point. But if you're looking at an FRA of 67, you have an opportunity to boost your monthly Social Security paycheck by up to 24%, depending on how long you're willing to wait.

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Now, for some people, delaying Social Security means having to work longer. And that's not ideal. But here are a few ways a delayed filing could work wonders for your retirement.

1. You'll have more money for leisure activity

Here's a truth bomb about retirement: It can be boring. When you're used to working 40 or more hours a week and you go from that to not having a job at all, you might struggle with too much downtime.

If you delay your Social Security claim, raising your monthly benefit in the process, you'll have more options for spending money on leisure pursuits. That could make your retirement far more enjoyable.

2. You'll have more money for healthcare

Fidelity estimates that the average couple retiring at age 65 might need $315,000 to cover healthcare costs in retirement. And that figure is based on 2022 data. Since the cost of healthcare tends to rise over time, it's fair to assume that once Fidelity releases its 2023 numbers, that figure will be even higher.

By delaying Social Security, you'll give yourself more money to spend on necessary expenses like healthcare. That could help you avoid things like skimping on medication or denying yourself treatments due to money being tight.

3. You'll have more money for long-term care

Many seniors end up needing long-term care in some capacity. Even if you only end up having to pay for it for a single year, the cost could be astronomical.

Genworth, which sells long-term care policies, says it costs $54,000 on average to spend a year residing in an assisted-living facility. And a private room in a nursing home could cost you twice that.

Ideally, you'll buy long-term care insurance to help defray your costs. But it might also come in very handy to have a higher Social Security benefit to cover your expenses.

The more money you get out of Social Security each month, the more financial flexibility you can enjoy. It's really that simple. So if you're nearing retirement and aren't sure when to sign up for benefits, think about what a few extra hundred dollars every single month for the rest of your life might do for you.