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When to claim

Four Common Social Security Claiming Mistakes

1. Not knowing your full retirement age (FRA). 'Full benefit' retirement age is rising beyond age 65 to age 67.

2. Not knowing you can file for benefits three months in advance of receiving income

3. Forgetting Social Security benefits can be subject to income tax.

4. Thinking early filers can later receive 'full benefits'. If filing early, your benefits are permanently reduced.

The 'Optimal' Age to Claim Social Security Benefits : 65

According to a study, the optimal Social Security claiming age for a 55-year-old single man with a life expectancy of 76 is age 65, according to a HealthView Services analysis.

This of course depends on health and life expectancy, but since delaying Social Security benefits results in an 8 percent higher benefit, it's best to not claim early according to a HealthView Services analysis.

Three Questions to Ask Before Claiming Social Security

1. Am I in good health?

If yes, consider deferring benefits.

2. Will my claim affect anyone else?

Higher-earning spouses often benefit by waiting until their full retirement age or later to sign up for Social Security.

3. How reliant will I be on Social Security income?

If you don't have much in savings, and are in good health, consider continuing to work.

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Recent Content

Seven Social Security Myths

1. Social Security will cover my income needs

2. It's better to take Social Security benefits early

3. I'll receive full benefits at 65

4. Once I start benefits, I can’t work anymore

5. I won't pay taxes on Social Security

6. Once I start Social Security, I have to continue receiving it

7. My divorce will reduce my benefits

Common Mistakes About Social Security

A recent poll found about half of respondents made mistakes on the following :

1. Retirement benefits will not be reduced if I claim at age 65 => FALSE. Full retirement age is rising.

2. A spouse can receive Social Security even if they have no earnings history => TRUE

3. If my spouse dies, that will have no effect on my Social Security payment => FALSE

4. Social Security benefits depend only on my earnings history, not when I claim => FALSE

Four Common Social Security Claiming Mistakes

1. Not knowing your full retirement age (FRA). 'Full benefit' retirement age is rising beyond age 65 to age 67.

2. Not knowing you can file for benefits three months in advance of receiving income

3. Forgetting Social Security benefits can be subject to income tax.

4. Thinking early filers can later receive 'full benefits'. If filing early, your benefits are permanently reduced.


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Not affiliated with the US Social Security Administration