Receiving your social security benefits at an earlier age will not reduce the overall amount of your benefit over time. Because you will be taking it at a younger age, your monthly payment will be smaller than if you had waited but the aggregate payout overtime will be the same amount. To see how the numbers work out use the Social Security table or Social Security detailed calculator to understand how your monthly benefit payout amount differentiates depending on when you claim your benefits.
While it is not always optimal, below are three reasons which might cause you to consider taking your social security benefit early.
- Concern for Program Insolvency
If the potential for program insolvency is causing you additional anxiety, then it may make sense to start taking benefits earlier than your full retirement age.
- Change in Life Expectancy
Another reason to take your social security benefit early is if you believe your life expectancy has changed. While the longevity rate keeps increasing the more you age, it does not prevent the unfortunate diagnosis of a life-threatening disease. If your health has declined and you may not live out your statistical life expectancy, then it may be proper to claim your benefit early. Claiming your benefit earlier can give you comfort financially, physically, and mentally.
- You are a Married Woman Whose Husband Has Been the Primary Wage Earner
If you are a legally married woman, you can make a rational case to start taking social security benefits at the earliest possible time if your husband has been the significant wage income earner. Statistically, the wife will outlive the husband, and the spouses can share the wife's early benefit as an income source. But if you take your benefit early, how long do you have to be married before receiving your deceased spouse's increased benefit? The answer is, it depends. There are three types of benefits in this married spouse category: spousal, survivor, and divorced spouse. Each status has different qualification rules, and it can be complicated to decipher the best benefit available to you. It is crucial to check Social Security Administration benefits for spouses as well as a trusted legal advisor to outline your best course of action.
Deciding when to take your social security benefits involves numerous factors. A balance should be struck between the cost of living adjustments (COLA), current expenditures and expected longevity. For assistance with long-term financial planning including Social Security Benefits please contact our Milwaukee office at 414-253-8500 to schedule an appointment.