Deciding when to claim their social security benefits is one of the most critical decisions retirees have to make. The choice they make will play a significant role in their financial well-being. But when is the right time to file for social security benefits?
The answer to that question depends on several factors. Here are some tips to help you decide whether or not you’re ready to claim your Social Security income.
1. Do You Have Any Other Savings?
Many seniors file for benefits before attaining full retirement age in a bid to boost their earnings while they’re still working. This is often the case with those who have little to no savings.
If you have some money saved that you can use during your 60s, you can wait until you’re 70 to file for your social security benefits. The advantage of this is that you will receive maximum benefits once you attain full retirement age.
2. Think Of The Benefit Of A Delayed Claim
You should realize that collecting your social security benefits early can reduce your payment by up to 30% that is if you file for benefits at the age of 62.
If you wait to claim Social Security until after you’ve attained your full retirement age, the age at which you can collect 100% of your retirement benefits, you’ll enjoy a significantly larger monthly payment.
Note that you need your social security card to claim benefits. If you’ve lost or misplaced yours, you can apply for a replacement with the help of US Filing Services LLC social security cardapplication services.
3. Explore Other Options Of Claiming Benefits
Did you know that you can claim benefits based on your spouse’s earnings?
If you are a widow or widower, you can file a restricted application to claim only your spouse’s social security benefits and wait to file for your own benefits until after you’ve attained your full retirement age.
While this is one possibility, you should realize that there are about 80 different ways married couples can file for social security benefits. It’s essential, therefore, to review all options at your disposal before you file for benefits. Consider consulting a financial advisor if you aren’t sure of the opportunity to capitalize on.
4. Consider Your Health Status
While you can’t predict how long you’ll live, you should consider filing for your benefits early if you have medical conditions that may prevent you from living a long life.
You can make the same decision if your spouse is the family’s breadwinner and he or she is in unstable health. If your spouse dies before you do, then you’ll need to claim survivor’s benefits.
5. Your Current AND Future Lifestyle
You may want to choose between getting a lesser benefit now when you’ve got the energy to enjoy it optimally and waiting a couple more years to get a higher total benefit that you would hardly need.
Sometimes, having a huge income when you’re an octogenarian is less gratifying than when you are in your 60s. If you plan to explore the outside world, for example, it would be prudent to take the money early so you can have a better experience when you still have the energy to travel.
There’s no one-fits-all time when it’s right to file for social security benefits. You should consider several factors like your alternative sources of income, health status, and your lifestyle before you decide to claim your social security benefits.