When is the right time to claim Social Security benefits? There is no clear-cut answer. The truth is, the answer can be different for everyone. Not everyone has the same needs for Social Security. While one family may rely heavily on their Social Security benefits, another may only need them for supplemental income during retirement. Regardless, money is money, and you want to make sure you are getting as much out of your benefits as you can. A whopping 96% of retirees don’t choose the right time to claim their benefits, and you want to be part of the smart 4% (United Income). Keep reading for our tips to consider when designing the perfect Social Security plan for your family.
How Early Can I Claim My Benefits?
You can claim your benefits as early as age 62. However, claiming your benefits this early results in receiving a benefit amount that is significantly lower than the amount you would receive if you waited until full retirement age to claim your benefits – 30 percent lower, to be exact (Forbes). For individuals turning 62 today, the full retirement age is 66 ½. So, if you can wait until after your 66th birthday, we recommend you do. Claiming your benefits early while you are still working can also create more taxes for you. With a proactive tax plan, you can minimize the taxes owed on your benefits. We can help you create a plan!
What If I Wait to Claim My Benefits?
If you wait until your full retirement age to claim your benefits, you will receive the full amount you’re entitled to. However, if you choose to wait even longer, you can increase your benefit amount by 8 percent with every year after your full retirement age, up to age 70. If you are in good health and expect to live a long, healthy retirement, then waiting until age 70 to claim your benefits might be the best option for you. However, if you have health issues, it might be more beneficial for you to claim your benefits at retirement age or even earlier. Social Security maximization is even more valuable for couples that are married, considering there is a 50% chance one will live to age 92, and a 25% chance that one will live to age 97 (Financial Planner LA). If you’re married, waiting is the better option.
How Can I Fully Maximize My Social Security Benefits?
If you don’t necessarily need your benefits for income, then you’re probably thinking about waiting until age 70 to claim your benefits. However, there is a way to maximize your benefits even further. That is, by investing them. For the average American, claiming benefits early and investing them is too risky. However, if you are near the top 1% of the richest Americans, you have the luxury of having a little fun with your benefits. If you claim benefits early and invest them, you could potentially accrue more assets for your retirement. However, you are playing with fire and you should be careful so as not to ruin your retirement security.
Whether you’re thinking about claiming your benefits early or waiting until you’re 70, we can help you make a decision! If you are interested in scheduling a complimentary personal review of your social security scenario including a free Social Security optimization report Contact Plotkin Financial Advisors today!