Deciding when to start collecting your Social Security retirement benefits is an important choice that will impact the income you receive for the rest of your life. The decision can also affect the income and lifestyle of a surviving spouse.
When it comes to Social Security, you may be wondering whether you should:
To help make an informed decision, you’ll want to consider a number of key factors, including your marital status, your health, your plans for retirement and your retirement income sources, just to name few.
Your Full Retirement Age (FRA) is the age at which you qualify for 100% of your Social Security benefits (known as your Primary Insurance Amount). Your FRA is based on your year of birth. See this chart from the Social Security website to find yours:
When you’re ready to start collecting benefits, you should apply for Social Security no more than four months before the date you want your benefits to start.
If you start collecting Social Security benefits and then change your mind about your choice of start date, you may be able to withdraw your claim and re-apply at a future date, provided you do so within 12 months of your original application for benefits. All benefits (including spousal and dependent benefits) must be repaid. You may only withdraw your application for benefits once in your lifetime.
You generally have three main options when it comes to choosing when to start collecting your benefits – a process often referred to as your Social Security “filing strategy.”
Each filing strategy has advantages and disadvantages.
Order our white paper on Social Security claiming strategies by calling our office (757-638-5490) or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Arie J. Korving, a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, has been delivering customized wealth management solutions to his clients for more than three decades. Prior to co-founding Korving & Company, he was First Vice President with UBS Wealth Management and held management positions with General Electric.