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Gainesville Florida Estate Planning & Elder Law Blog

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Moments When Filing Early For Social Security May Be The Right Decision

Choosing the right time to sign up for Social Security is an important decision for a good number of our clients. Many people are depending on their Social Security to take them through their senior years.

          When baby boomers wait until age 70 to sign up, their Social Security payments can increase by 32 percent, and people born after 1959 can have a 24 percent increase when they claim payments at age 70, however only 4 percent of women and 2 percent of men claim their benefits at age 70, according to the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College (CRR).

          Although there are enticing incentives to claim Social Security later, most people choose to sign up for payments at age 62, which is the earliest eligible age. The number of people signing up this early has decreased as more people are waiting for the bigger payout. The CRR report indicates that 48 percent of women and 42 percent of men signed up for Social Security at age 62 in 2013, compared to the 60 percent of women and 55 percent of men in 2005.

           

Here are three instances when filing early for Social Security makes sense:

  1. Coordinating your benefits with your spouse

     

              Providing that both spouses are eligible for benefits, one could sign up early and start receiving Social Security payments while the other files later for a higher amount. If one spouse dies, the surviving spouse, in most cases, will continue to receive the larger of the two amounts.

     

  2. Terminal illness

              With today’s advanced medicine, many people are living well into their 90s, so it is important to not make any rash decisions unless there is an imminent threat to your health. Many retirees have made such decisions based on the assumption that their life span would be shorter and have returned to the workforce. As a result, they often have to pay penalties if they earn more money than the amount allowed by the Social Security Administration.

     

  3. No money and few options to earn money

          Filing for Social Security may no longer be an option if you really need the money.  Unemployed seniors without a steady stream of income may see Social Security as the only way to receive income. In their case, some money may be better than no money at all.

 

Before you make the difficult decision of collecting Social Security early, always weigh your options and to talk to a financial professional.  


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