I read an interesting article recently written by Tom Sightings of the blog “Sightings Over Sixty“. The blog post was titled “The Best Time to Start Social Security”, and it discussed the variables involved when considering when to take your social security benefit. The long and short of it is that it’s a gamble either way. Wait a little longer and your benefit amount goes up… Take it early and you receive less. There is no easy answer!
When Should I Start Taking My Social Security Benefit?
Tom’s article does offer some good advice when it come to making the decision however.
Tom says a person should TAKE SOCIAL SECURITY EARLY IF:
- Your income is low and you need the money right away
- You have a spouse who will be eligible for a larger benefit down the road
- You don’t believe you’ll live into your 80′s
Tom says person should DELAY TAKING SOCIAL SECURITY IF:
- You are still working and generating income
- You are healthy and have a long history of extended years ahead
- You have large nest egg built up (at least $500K)
Do Not Delay Taking Social Security Beyond The Age of 70
One thing you need to be aware of though is that IF you can wait until 70, it’s a good idea to do so. Your benefit will be 32% higher than at the full retirement age (which is now 65-67 depending on when you were born). But we cannot stress this enough. DO NOT WAIT ANY LONGER THAN 70 TO COLLECT YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFIT. There is no incentive to do so. You will simply be giving up those benefits that you earned over your working years.
If you’re interested in some additional information on social security benefits, see this nice PBS Posting by Larry Kotlikoff. This article features some interesting questions and answers regarding the subject.