When to Start Social Security

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One of the toughest decisions that seniors face is when they should start taking Social Security benefits. Thinking about a few possibilities makes the decision easier for most people.

It is common knowledge that monthly Social Security benefits increase if you do not begin taking them as soon as you are eligible. That leads many people to believe that the best option is to delay as long as possible to receive the maximum monthly amount. For many people that is the best option. However, it is not the best option for everyone. The Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog recently posted some things to consider when deciding when to start Social Security benefits in "Considerations To Chew Over When Choosing When To Take Social Security" including:

  • Monthly benefits are determined based on actuarial data and average life expectancy. While you can receive more money per month by delaying benefits, your expected total lifetime amount will be the same on average whenever you start benefits.
  • Your health and your family's health history can play a key role in the decision. If you are in poor health or you have a family history of serious health problems in retirement, then it might be better to take benefits sooner rather than later.
  • Your current financial situation is also very important. If you need money now, then taking benefits as soon as you are eligible is a good idea. However, if you do not need the money or plan to continue working for a few years, then delaying benefits is often a better idea.

Reference: Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog (April 3, 2016) "Considerations To Chew Over When Choosing When To Take Social Security"

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