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Social Security: Choosing When to Claim

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One of the most critical decisions regarding retirement is when you choose to take your Social Security benefits. Deciding when to claim Social Security can make a difference in your monthly bottom line, and your Telarray advisor is here to help you make the choice that supports your secure financial future. Here are a few things to consider as you and your advisor begin the discussion.

Before You Retire

Your monthly Social Security Benefit amount is calculated based on the number of years you have worked and the taxes you have paid into the Social Security Benefits program. Social Security counts the years you have paid taxes as “credits” for years that you have worked. For example, if you were born in 1929 or afterward, you must have 40 credits to receive Social Security benefits when you retire. This is equal to about 10 years of work.1

Your benefit amount is also calculated by the number of credits you have earned during your working years. Fortunately, the Social Security Administration has made verifying your expected benefits easier by setting up an online account. It is worth double-checking your earnings to catch errors and factor in your expected benefits as you strategize for retirement.1

What Age Should You Claim?

Several ages should be considered when deciding when to claim Social Security.

  • Early Retirement Age: The earliest age you can claim Social Security benefits is 62. However, if you claim Social Security early, you will be penalized for not waiting until the full retirement age.1,2
  • Full Retirement Age: This is the age when you are eligible to receive the full amount of your Social Security benefits. The full retirement age (FRA) is calculated based on the year you were born. For example, for those born between 1943 and 1954, your FRA is age 66. If you were born between 1955 and 1960, the FRA changes based on birth year with a cap at age 67.1,2
  • Delayed Retirement Age: You can also delay the claim of your retirement benefits until age 70. If you wait until then, you will continue earning benefits. However, potential benefits stop increasing at age 70, so there may not be any reason to delay the claim of benefits past age 70.1,2

Deciding when to claim Social Security benefits is important as you approach your retirement age. As you approach your 60s, your Telarray advisor is here to help you choose the best time to apply for Social Security, answer questions about Medicare and discuss everything retirement related according to your unique financial situation.

  1. https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/retirement/learn.html
  2. https://www.cnbc.com/select/when-should-you-collect-social-security/

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