Welcome to Ask Clark, a column designed to answer your financial questions by money expert Clark Howard.
What’s up with the delay in my Social Security checks?
Greg from Oregon asks: ”I was celebrating my 70th birthday and decided quite some time ago to take your advice and wait to take my Social Security until I reach this somewhat golden age.
“My first payment was supposed to be in August, my birthday month, but I’ve found that Social Security has a policy where they pay one month late. So my promised first check for August came in September, my check from September comes this month and so on.
“In the grand scheme of things, looking down the road, I ended up losing an entire month of benefits. Am I missing something or has the Social Security Administration (SSA) found a way to scam all of us seniors by making that very first payment a month out? and then never to be overtaken?”
Clark’s take on why Social Security checks are being postponed
Clark says: “You’re right. They rip you off.”
“You get paid in arrears, so that’s why, even with your 70th birthday in August, you won’t see the money until September,” he adds.
Your birthday determines your Social Security payment schedule, according to the AARP website:
- If your birthday is between the first and 10th of the month, you will be paid on the second Wednesday of each month.
- If your birthday is between the 11th and the 20th, you will be paid on the third Wednesday of the month.
- If your birthday is between the 21st and the end of the month, you will be paid on the fourth Wednesday of the month.
Here is the Social Security payment calendar for 2021.
Clark isn’t a fan of this delay, but he does like the delay in collecting Social Security benefits until age 70, if possible.
If you do, Clark says, “it means that, as long as you live, you’re going to get a much, much bigger check than you otherwise would have gotten.” And I’ll tell you, there’s no way I’m going to take Social Security before I turn 70.”
Listen to the clip to hear Clark’s full take on this question:
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