When you should start collecting your Social Security benefits may be one of the biggest decisions that you ever make. To be sure, if you start collecting your benefits too early, you may end up receiving far less in benefits that you would have received if you waited until age 70 to start collecting, especially if you live for a long time. In the same vein, however, waiting too long to collect benefits may not be a good thing, especially if you have a health condition that puts your longevity in jeopardy. To help you plan for the future and learn more about when you should start collecting benefits, you should attend our free Harvest Social Security QA workshop.
As stated above, if you start to collect Social Security benefits before you reach your full retirement age, your benefit amount will be reduced to account for the additional time that you will be receiving benefits. The percentage that your benefit amount will be reduced by lessens as you approach retirement age (i.e. if your full retirement age is 67 and you start collecting at age 62, your benefit amount will be reduced more than if you wait until age 65 to start collecting). The same is true when a spouse starts collecting on your record before their full retirement age.
If, however, you wait until after your full retirement age to start claiming benefits, then your benefit amount will be increased. This only applies up to age 70 – after that, there is no additional delayed retirement credit. As such, there is no point to wait longer than age 70 to start collecting benefits.
Whether or not you should delay your benefits or claim your benefits early is a completely independent decision, and one that you should consult with a financial professional regarding. If you think that you are going to live for a long time–i.e. you feel good, have no serious health problems, have a family history of living to 90 or beyond, etc.–then delaying your benefit amount until age 70 could result in you receiving tens of thousands of dollars more over the years. On the other hand, if you have problems that put your longevity in jeopardy, you may want to retire earlier and obtain the extra two, three, or fours years of payments that are available to you. Your health is not the only thing to consider: your savings, your ability to work, and more are all important considerations, too.
The best way to learn more about the Social Security benefits available to you and when you should start claiming those benefits is to attend a Social Security workshop near you. Harvest Social Security QA hosts workshops in Merrillville, which is just about a 20 minute drive from Highland. These workshops are offered free of charge, and provide critical information for those hoping to start planning for the future. You can register and reserve your spot online today.
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