Asked anonymously

Should I claim Social Security as soon as I'm eligible?

Report Question Report

  Leave Answer

Sign in to MoneyTips
By submitting you agree to our Terms of Service

  Answers  |  1

December 06, 2017

Several factors come into play, but if you are relatively healthy for your age and do not need the additional income as soon as you are eligible, each year you delay receiving your benefits adds 8% compound interest to the amount you’ll eventually receive. Over time, this additional income adds up!

If you were born between 1943 and 1954, your full retirement age is 66. Simply delaying taking payments until age 70 will net you 132% more every month. To talk numbers, if you are set to receive $1800/month at age 66, by delaying just 4 years you would receive $2376…a $576 difference. Imagine what you could do with an extra $576 every month, for the rest of your life! Taking Social Security too early could easily end up costing you over $100,000 over the course of your life if you live into your mid-80’s.

If you are older than your spouse by a few years and earned more income while working, it may be prudent to turn on her Social Security at age 62 in order to delay taking yours. If you pass away first, the lesser of the two amounts goes away and she’ll begin drawing your benefit amount.

Side note – if you DO decide to delay receiving your Social Security payments, make sure you sign up for Medicare as soon as you’re eligible; since rates are based on age and health, younger and healthier people will pay less than older, more sickly folks.

The bottom line is this: you should speak with a professional who can walk you through the countless Social Security scenarios in order to help you arrive at your decision.

$commenter.renderDisplayableName() | 09.30.20 @ 22:25