When Should You Collect Social Security Benefits?

Answer these questions before you start collecting social security benefits

Deciding when to retire and cash in on your social security benefits is complicated and can make a big difference in the benefits your receive. As you think about retirement, here are some important questions for you to consider to make your retirement go as smoothly and as enjoyably as possible.

The Big Decision – Retirement

Ahhh…retirement. It’s what every red-blooded American dreams about. No longer punching a time clock, no more bosses, no more difficult co-workers, no more long hours. Doing as you please, hours of leisure stretching out before you as you stretch out in your dream retirement location.

But, can this really happen? At one time, many people depended solely on their social security check to retire. While most realize this is no longer possible and many worry if social security will even exist by the time they retire, if you time it right, social security can help you enjoy your retirement. The question is when do you begin collecting your social security check?

When is the Right Time to Collect Social Security Benefits?

Only you can answer this completely personal question. But there are some important factors for you to consider.

What’s your money situation?

How is your health?

How will it affect your family?

Do you want to retire early?

First, what’s your money situation? If you have a nice nest egg sitting in the bank and a smaller social security check won’t hurt, you can take early retirement at age 62. If money is an issue, you need to keep working as long as possible or at least until you’re 66-years-old, the full retirement age. The difference in the amount of money you receive is 32%. So if your benefits at age 62 are $1,000 per month, if you work until you’re 70, you’ll receive $1,320.

However, if your health is suffering and you need to stop working for health or physical reasons, you may need to go ahead and start receiving your social security benefits. You may decide or be forced to decide that it’s better to take a smaller amount of money than to damage your health.

The next thing you need to consider is how your retirement affects your family. If you die before your spouse, he or she may be eligible to receive a survivor benefit based on your work record. If you take early retirement, your spouse can’t receive the full amount. Depending on your money situation and whether or not your wife works full-time, this can be important.

Asking whether or not you want to retire early sounds like a silly question. But really, it isn’t. Many people find that after they retire, they’re bored. You may want to continue working and building up your retirement benefits.

Retirement is an important milestone in the life of everyone. Deciding when to retire and take social security benefits is an important decision that affects not only you but also those around you. Review these important questions and use them to help you make your decision about receiving social security benefits.