Rob Yeend

When Should You Start Collecting Social Security?

When Should You Start Collecting Social Security?

by | Jun 22, 2018 | Articles, blog, Latest News, Newsletter Article

2 minute read

You can start collecting social security benefits at age 62, provided you’ve paid into the program for approximately 10 years, but is that the right move for you? Maybe waiting until the retirement age, which ranges from 65-67, is a better fit for you. Or maybe you’re someone who could wait until age 70 to start collecting social security. While there is no defining right time to start taking benefits, making an informed decision is key.

The short answer to when you should start collecting benefits is to wait as long as possible. For every year you wait after your full retirement age, which depends on the year you were born, your benefits increase by about 8% up until age 70. According to experts, if you wait until retirement age, you will receive 25% more per month than you would if you started withdrawing at age 62, and 32% more if you can wait until age 70.

Here’s how to get the most out of social security benefits, depending on your circumstances, beginning with reasons to start withdrawing before your retirement age. If you are no longer able to work, if you have no other source of income, or if you suffer from health issues, withdrawing early might be in your best interest. After all, if you live to the average life expectancy for your age, according to the Social Security Administration, you’ll get about the same amount of benefits no matter when you start collecting.

Another point to consider as you decide when to start withdrawing social security is the age at which you plan to retire. If you’re still working when you become eligible to receive benefits, you can still start collecting social security. However, there are some potential downsides to this to consider. For example, if you haven’t reached full retirement age, you lose $1 for every $2 you earn above the earning limit, which is $15,480.00. Once you reach full retirement age, however, your benefits are recalculated to recover those lost benefits, but experts warn that it can take up to 15 years to regain the loss.

An additional factor to examine is your marriage status, as married couples have more possible claiming strategies than singles. If you’re married, experts suggest that the partner who earns more should wait to collect social security for as long as possible. However, one strategy available to married couples is for the higher earner to file for benefits at retirement age and then suspend them. This would allow the other spouse to collect a spousal benefit equal to ½ of the higher earner’s full retirement benefit. Meanwhile, the higher earner’s benefit continues to grow until age 70.

Whatever your circumstance in life around retirement age, claiming social security isn’t as clear cut as it first seems, and experts recommend that you get professional guidance to be sure you’re considering all the possibilities.

About the Author

Rob is a CPA and has been in public accounting since 1993 after graduating from Ball State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting. Rob became co-owner of the firm in 2003. Rob provides services to many types of industries; including, manufacturing, trucking, construction, service, and retail.

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