One of the most important decisions that seniors make is when to start taking Social Security benefits. The full retirement age for most people is 67, but that does not necessarily mean that everyone should wait to start benefits until then.
Americans born after 1960 achieve full retirement age at 67. That is when a person can get the full monthly Social Security benefit and, as a result, many people plan to retire at that age. However, there are reasons that people might want to reconsider those plans as the Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog discusses in "Considerations To Keep In Mind For Taking Social Security At 67."
Things to keep in mind when considering your own retirement age include:
- You can start receiving Social Security benefits as early as age 62. While your monthly benefits will be lower than if you wait, the system is designed so your lifetime benefits will be the same.
- Many people plan to "file and suspend." In other words, they plan to draw from a spouse's benefits and delay filing for themselves until their monthly benefits are higher. Unfortunately, this option will no longer be available after April 29, 2016.
- If you wait to take benefits until after the age of 67, then you can increase your monthly benefits by 8% a year until the age of 70.
If you are confused about when to start taking Social Security benefits, then speak to an elder law attorney and a Certified Financial Planner® practitioner. There is no best option for everyone, so get personalized advice for your own circumstances.
Reference: Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog (Feb. 29, 2016) "Considerations To Keep In Mind For Taking Social Security At 67."
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