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Collect Social Security Benefits
Friday, November 27, 2015

Can’t decide when is the best time to collect Social Security? 62? My full retirement age? Should I wait until I’m 70? These are the questions that we all will face as we get closer and closer to retirement age.

Choosing which option is right for you can be quite a chore but the first thing you need to do is to request an earnings statement from the Social Security Administration. This statement will give you a year by year breakdown of your earnings as well as tell you how you will be able to collect if you retire early, at full retirement age and what you will be able to collect at age 70. It will take about a month or so to get it but once you do you will be able to sit down and do the math. Just remember that whatever payment you decide to collect, other than for cost of living adjustments, it will not change.

Your first option is to take reduced benefits at age 62. If you were born before 1937, you would receive 80% of your full retirement benefits. If you were born after 1938, the full retirement age will begin to increase. For those born between 1943 and 1954, you won’t be eligible for full retirement until you are 66. After 1954, the age you will be able to retire with full benefits will rise in 2 month increments until full retirement age reaches 67 for everyone born in 1960 or later. Sound confusing? It is.

To complicate matters even more, there are other factors you need to consider before deciding when the best time to collect is…
If you chose to accept payments early, you will be limited in how much you can make if you decide to continue working up until you reach full retirement age. In 2002, wage earners younger than the current full retirement age of 65 will lose 50 cents in benefits on every $1 they earn over $11,280. After reaching full retirement age, you will not lose any of your benefits but they may become subject to taxes depending upon your filing status.

If your spouse hasn’t worked and/or earned much under SS and you want to increase your spouse’s benefits, you may want to wait until your full retirement age. When your spouse is ready to retire, he/she will be able to choose between their own records or they can receive half of their spouse’s benefits. In the event of the death of the higher earning spouse, the surviving spouse can claim the deceased’s full benefits.

The Social Security Administration calculates benefits using a complicated algorithm based on life expectancy so if you have a family history of longevity, you might want to consider waiting to collect until you are 70 so you can get the maximum payout.

If you don’t need the money, you may want to consider collecting early and depositing it into a retirement account where you can collect interest.

Whatever you decide to do, think it through thoroughly before you make your final decision about when to collect your SS Retirement Benefits, it can make a big difference in how much you will ultimately collect.

Article Source:—When-Should-I-Collect?&id=1675563

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