If you want to claim social security early, do so for the right reason
If you want to claim social security early, do so for the right reason

If you want to claim social security early, do so for the right reason

When it comes to applying for social security, you get a choice. You can sign up as early as age 62 or postpone your application until age 70. In fact, technically you do not even have to sign up at 70. But since there is no financial incentive to wait longer than that, 70 is generally considered the latest age to apply for benefits.

The application age you choose will dictate what your monthly Social Security advantage looks. If you sign up to start collecting benefits at age 62, you will lose 25% to 30% of the amount you would have received by waiting until full retirement age, or FROM. OFF starts at 66, 67 or somewhere in between, depending on your year of birth.

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In the meantime, for every year you delay your application past OFF, your benefits will get a boost of 8% until you are 70 years old. Waiting until age 70 can mean you get a monthly benefit that is 24% to 32% higher, depending on your specific OFF.

However, age 70 is not a very popular age to claim benefits. On the contrary, seniors are generally more likely to take their benefits early.

It is a route you may also choose to take. But if so, it’s important that you do it for the right reason.

Do not let fear control your decision

Many people are worried that Social Security is on the verge of running out of money and it is this fear that is causing them to demand benefits as early as possible. But it’s a mistake you might regret.

The reality is that while Social Security is facing some financial challenges, it is not about to stop paying benefits. In a worst case scenario, benefit cuts could come into play in a little over a decade, but there is still time for lawmakers to come up with a solution to prevent it.

Also though benefits is cut, if you lock in a lower benefit by signing up as a 62-year-old, you risk becoming so much the more cash in retirement. Conversely, if you delay your application for social security and raising your benefit in the process, you will be queuing up for a more generous monthly salary – even if the benefits are cut across the board.

Better reasons to file early

There are plenty of valid reasons to sign up for Social Security before you get OFF. For example, you can sit on a nest egg so large that your social benefits will only make up a small part of your total pension income. In that case, you can choose to sign up early and use your benefits to travel or pay for a hobby.

You may also end up in poor health as retirement approaches. If so, social security requirements may reduce your benefits early on a monthly basis, but leave you with a larger lifetime income.

There is nothing wrong with signing up for benefits before OFF if you have taken the time to think things through. But do not rush to claim benefits because you are worried that Social Security is running out of money. It’s not a scenario anyone is considering, and it should not be something you worry about, whether you’re about to retire or have many years of work ahead of you.

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