By Harriet Hoffman, Make the Right Choice
Deciding when to begin receiving Social Security benefits can be a major life decision. It can impact your long-term financial security, your retirement prospects and your federal tax burden, or it can provide an immediate and welcome lifeline.
On the surface, when to take your benefits looks like a no-brainer. You can begin collecting any time between age 62 and 70. Full Social Security age is 66. So if you want or need those monthly payments, many people would advise you to grab the money as soon as possible. If you don’t need the money the common wisdom says wait until you are full Social Security age (for baby boomers that age is 66) and then you will collect for more years than if you wait until the maximum age of 70. If you don’t have other assets, wait until 70 to get more guaranteed-annuity income. This over-simplified guide leaves out the myriad of factors that need to be considered if you are to make the most of the benefit that you have earned and that for many will play a significant role in your future financial security.