Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Considerations To Chew Over When Choosing When To Take Social Security

Social SecurityFor those approaching retirement age a major concern is what age to start taking Social Security benefits. While full retirement is not considered reached until age 66, there is flexibility concerning when benefits can be start and will ultimately dictate how much a monthly benefit will be. Here are some considerations to keep in mind when mulling over the options:

  • The SSA determines how much of a reduction or increase in the monthly benefit will occur for taking retirement early or late based on actuarial tables. As a result, the same amount of money will be paid out regardless at what age benefits begin as long as you live until the average age.
  • Consider family and personal health history to determine when to take the benefit. If you have a history of bad health personally or in the family at a later age waiting to take the benefit might not provide any additional benefits. However, for those in good health with an excellent family history waiting past 66 might pay off at it will add resources for a very late life when nest eggs tend to start running out.
  • Most important is the questions of what financial resources are currently available. If you plan to work until age 70 and are in good health there is little reason to take an earlier benefit and every reason to take the increased benefits. However, for those already in need of the money it might be wise to take benefits at the normal age in order to preserve a nest egg for later in life.

See Jason Hall, 3 Awful Reasons to Take Social Security Benefits at 67, My San Antonio, April 2, 2016.

Special thanks to Brian Cohan (Attorney at Law, Law Offices of Brian J. Cohan, P.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.


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