Social Security benefits can be claimed as early as age 62, but for most people, delaying retirement until age 70 is often the better option. Experts are now recommending waiting as the longer you wait to claim your benefits, the higher your monthly benefit will be.
Yet, a recent study shows that the most popular age to claim Social Security is still age 62, although that number is dropping. While you may want to gain access to your money now or gain some financial relief, it often pays to retire later. Ideally, waiting until full retirement age (66 to 67) is the best option. Here’s why:
Did you know that waiting until the full retirement age to claim Social Security will increase the size of your benefit by 8% per year? For those with a full retirement age of 66, this could equate to a 32% increase in your monthly benefits.
Those who delay claiming Social Security will receive larger payments for every year they delay claiming up until the age of 70. After 70, there are no additional benefits to delaying your Social Security claim.
Larger Survivor Benefit Payments
Delaying your Social Security claim could also mean larger survivor benefit payments. Married couples have the option of claiming Social Security based on their own work record, or up to 50% of the higher earning spouse’s benefit. Ex-spouses will also be eligible for Social Security benefits if they were married for at least 10 years.
Couples also have the option of claiming spousal payments, and then switching back to payments based on their own work record in the future. These payments would then be higher because they decided to delay their claim.
The bottom line is this: delaying your Social Security claim will lead to bigger monthly payments and larger survivor benefit payments. If you can, wait until you reach full retirement age, or 70 if possible, to make your claim.