Winona County residents who are nearing retirement age can increase their lifetime income if they can wait a bit to start drawing Social Security benefits.
According to Daily Yonder.com, in Winona County 6,286 residents - or about 12 percent of the population - are aged 55 to 64 the years when folks start thinking seriously about retirement.
Workers can start taking Social Security at age 62. But for those who can wait, the benefits go up.
Payments increase by 5 to 7 percent for each year of delay between ages 62 and 66, and by 8 percent for each year of delay between ages 66 and 70. The increases stop at age 70.
For someone who can wait until age 70 to take Social Security, the reward is a lifetime monthly benefit that is 76 percent higher than if taken at age 62.
In Winona County, 6,705 residents received retirement benefits from the federal system, according to 2012 figures.
The average recipient of Social Security retirement benefits in Winona County received $1,210 a month in December of that year. On an annual basis, that brought 97.3 million dollars in income to the area - 5-percent of all personal income in the county, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.