Pros and Cons of Claiming Social Security Early

( – When’s the best time to start receiving your Social Security? The full retirement age, depending on when you were born, is between 65 and  67 years old. However, Americans can retire as early as 62 and still receive benefits.

Filing for your benefits early does come with some pros and cons. Here’s the breakdown.

Pros of Filing Early

  • If you’re in poor health and unable to work, taking your benefits at 62 will ease your financial burden.
  • If your spouse made more money than you, and you need the extra cash, consider claiming your benefits early. It’s best if your spouse can wait until full retirement or after, so they’ll receive more money.
  • If you lost your job and can’t find a new one, you may want to claim your benefits now rather than going into debt while you’re scrambling for an income.

Cons of Receiving Social Security Early

  • When you claim the benefits at 62, you only get about 75% of your full amount.
  • Every year you wait (up to 70) to claim your benefits, they’ll increase by about 8%.
  • You’ll get fewer checks because of your advanced age. So, if you work all the way to 66 and beyond, you may not have as many years left to enjoy your retirement.

You may not need your benefits right away, so put off collecting as long as you can to increase the size of your checks. If you need the money right at 62, that’s okay too; just know the payments will be less than you’d get if you waited.

What you ultimately decide to do depends on your personal financial situation.

~Here’s to Your Financial Health!

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