Retirement Read Time: 3 min

When Should You Take Social Security

The Social Security program allows you to start receiving benefits as soon as you reach age 62. The question is, should you?

Monthly payments differ substantially depending on when you start receiving benefits. The longer you wait (up to age 70), the larger each monthly check will be. The sooner you start receiving benefits, the smaller the check.

From the Social Security Administration’s point of view, it’s simple: if a person lives to the average life expectancy, the person will eventually receive roughly the same amount in lifetime benefits, no matter when they choose to start receiving them. In actual practice, it’s not quite that straightforward, but the principle holds.

The key phrase is “if the person lives to average life expectancy.” If a person exceeds the average life expectancy and has opted to wait to receive benefits, they will start to accumulate more from Social Security.

The chart shows how Social Security benefits accumulate for individuals who started to receive at ages 62, 67, and 70. The person who started to receive benefits at age 62 would accumulate $327,600 by the age of 85. Conversely, the person who started to receive benefits at age 70 would accumulate $386,880 by the age of 85. The example assumes a retirement benefit of $1,625 at age 67. It does not assume COLA.

Source: Social Security Administration, 2022

There is no single “right” answer to the question of when to start benefits. Many base their decision on family considerations, economic circumstances, and personal preferences.

If you have a spouse, the decision about when to start benefits gets more complicated – particularly if one person’s earnings were considerably higher than the other's. The timing of spousal benefits should be factored into your decision.

When considering at what age to start Social Security benefits, it may be a good idea to review all the assets you have gathered for retirement. Some may want the money sooner based on how assets are positioned, while others may benefit by waiting. So, as you near a decision point, it may be best to consider all your options before moving forward.

The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG Suite is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright FMG Suite.

Share |

Free Retirement Guide

It's never too soon to start preparing for retirement. But do you know what to look out for? Download our free ebook, "Retire Happy: A Simple Guide to Your Next Big Adventure."



Thank you! Oops!
 

Related Content

Where Is the Market Headed?

Where Is the Market Headed?

We all know the stock market can be unpredictable. We all want to know, “What’s next for the financial markets?”

The Most Overlooked Item of Any Home Improvement

The Most Overlooked Item of Any Home Improvement

The item most homeowners forget on their home improvement project checklist is insurance.

Personal Finance Calendar

Personal Finance Calendar

Use this handy calendar to remember the year’s most important financial dates.

 

Have A Question About This Topic?







Thank you! Oops!

Filing Final Tax Returns for the Deceased

The federal government requires deceased individuals to file a final income tax return.

The Big Picture–Little Focus on Big Issues

If the stock market is hitting record highs, why aren’t money managers feeling the love?

Insurance Needs of Small Business Owners

The dreams of small business owners and the business plans that outline the strategy to fulfill those dreams rarely include the insurance protections that business owners will need. Yet, having adequate protection can...

View all articles

Taxable vs. Tax-Deferred Savings

Use this calculator to compare the future value of investments with different tax consequences.

My Retirement Savings

Estimate how long your retirement savings may last using various monthly cash flow rates.

What Is the Dividend Yield?

This calculator helps determine your pre-tax and after-tax dividend yield on a particular stock.

View all calculators

5 Smart Investing Principles

Principles that can help create a portfolio designed to pursue investment goals.

5 Smart Investing Strategies

There are some smart strategies that may help you pursue your investment objectives

An Inside Look at Retirement Living

A number of questions and concerns need to be addressed to help you better prepare for retirement living.

View all presentations

Inflation and Your Portfolio

Even low inflation rates can pose a threat to investment returns.

The Real Cost of a Vacation Home

What if instead of buying that vacation home, you invested the money?

Global and International Funds

Investors seeking world investments can choose between global and international funds. What's the difference?

View all videos