When to Claim Social Security Benefits Earlier Rather Than Later

Most articles that I read about when to claim Social Security benefits say that it is better to delay as long as possible to maximize your monthly payment.

However, a recent Motley Fool article outlines some situations where it may be better to take Social Security earlier rather than later.

With the new Social Security laws just passed by Congress, many spouses may now want to consider claiming their benefits early. Previously, spouses could claim spousal benefits at 66 while letting their own retirement benefit continue to grow through age 70, potentially giving them an even bigger payout later in their retirement. However, for those who turn 62 in 2016 or later, “file and suspend” will no longer be available to them. As a result, some may find that taking benefits at 62 is a better option.

Others do not have the luxury of putting off claiming Social Security. They need the money now in order to make ends meet. Furthermore, if you’re disabled or otherwise physically unable to work, you may qualify for additional benefits to augment your income.

These are obviously very broad and generalized discussions. It is also best to consult with a tax specialist or financial advisor to fully understand your options and their implications.

As part of AAII’s ongoing discussion of financial planning, we often cover Social Security strategies:

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