You’ve waited almost your whole life to take Social Security benefits and now you have the option to wait even longer. Deciding when to take Social Security benefits will impact the amount you receive. Basically, you have three options:
You can start your benefits early, which is any time between age 62 and your full retirement age. However, the amount you receive will be reduced based on the number of months you have left until you would have reached your full retirement age.
You can start your benefits at your full retirement age. Full retirement age is the age at which a person may first become entitled to full or unreduced retirement benefits.
You can delay your benefits until after your full retirement age with a maximum benefit amount at age 70. Postponing benefits beyond the full retirement age results in a credit of up to 8% per year (up to age 70), plus annual cost of living increases (COLI’s). So, if full retirement age is 66, monthly benefit amounts will be 32% higher plus COLI’s if benefits are delayed until age 70. There is no additional benefit increase after you reach age 70, even if you continue to delay taking benefits.
There are other factors to consider as well if you are married or employed. A CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER ™ professional can help you decide when the best time is to take your well deserved Social Security benefits!