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5 Factors to Help You Decide When to Claim Social Security Benefits

These days, most financial advisers counsel their clients to wait until age 70 to claim their Social Security benefits. This is because most Americans are living longer, and by delaying your benefits, you’ll receive a bigger check. However, not everyone can or want to wait. Every individual circumstance is different.

To help you decide on the best time for YOU to claim your benefits, consider these five factors:

1. Your health. Typically, the longer you expect to live, the longer you should wait until claiming benefits. The break-even age -- the age at which you would receive the same amount whether you claim early or late -- is 78-79 for those who claim between ages 62-66, and 82-83 for those who claim between ages 66 and 70. By waiting, you would get an increase in benefits for every year after that. However, there are individual reasons you may not want to wait, even if you expect to live a long time. Some people prefer to claim early while they are still active and can travel more easily.

2. Your retirement savings. The more you have saved for retirement, the longer you can wait to claim your benefits. And waiting does pay off -- for every year after your full retirement age that you wait (until age 70), your benefits increase by 8% each year. However, if you have little or no retirement savings, you may need to take your benefits early.

3. Spouse’s benefits. How much your spouse (or ex-spouse, if you were married more than 10 years) will receive in benefits can help determine when and how you will claim your own benefits.

4. Your lifestyle. If you are anticipating an active retirement, you may want to start taking benefits early to fund travel or hobbies, while you can still enjoy them. This may mean more to you than having more money in your later retirement years. If you want to ensure you have the highest possible benefit for your later years, you can elect to wait.

5. Your spouse’s future needs. This is an important consideration if there is a dramatic difference between the benefits amounts you and your spouse will receive. If you want your benefits to be as high as possible for your spouse after you die, you should wait as long as possible to claim. After you die, your spouse will get your higher benefit.

Contact our Fort Myers estate planning law firm for a complimentary consultation on strategies to help your money last throughout your retirement.
Categories: Retirement Planning
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The Dorcey Law Firm, PLC - Fort Myers Attorney
Located at 10181 Six Mile Cypress Pkwy, Suite C, Fort Myers, FL 33966
Phone: (239) 330-6674
Local Phone: (239) 418-0169