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Gainesville Florida Estate Planning & Elder Law Blog

Monday, June 11, 2018

When Do I Start Taking My Social Security Benefits?

For elder law/estate planning attorneys, there may be no question more common than when do I start taking my Social Security benefits.

You are eligible to start collecting Social security at age 62 but for most people and most situations, while tempting, that’s not the best time.

Taking your Social Security benefits at age 62 is referred to as early retirement. The result is your benefits are reduced from what it otherwise would be if you wait until your full retirement age. The benefit you draw monthly will likely be 25 percent less than if you wait. Plus, while you are eligible to start collecting at 62, if you are still working and drawing a paycheck, that will have implications as well.

Your exact retirement age will vary depending on your actual age. For most baby boomers, who are getting ready to retire soon, the full retirement age is 66.  It can be younger for older people.  And it can be a later date, up to age 67 for younger workers. You want to determine your actual retirement age before taking any action.

If you wait until your actual retirement age, you will receive the full benefit to which you are entitled. In fact, if you let your retirement age pass without taking your Social Security benefits, you can earn an extra eight percent a year. If you wait until age 70, you will end up getting 132 percent of your benefits by delaying for those 48 months. Here’s a breakdown of the benefits by age.

When to start taking your Social Security benefits is a question unique to each individual. You need to look at your own situation and make the best decision for you.



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