Does the age you start Social Security matter all that much?
Social Security benefits are actuarially equivalent ( but may need updating). Take reduced benefits at age 62 and chances are you will collect benefits longer. The opposite is true at age 70.
If your objective is to maximize the total you collect in SS benefits, then age doesn’t matter unless you live far less or far longer than most other Americans. But I suggest you should rethink why that is your goal. Either you are here or not so why do you care if your total benefits are more or less?
It’s really a matter of when you need the money and what you are going to do with it.
Consider this from the Motley Fool
To see how this plays out in practice, let’s consider a hypothetical example.
Say your FRA is 67, and based on your income over your career, you’d receive $1,500 per month in benefits if you file for them at that age. If you claim at 62, your checks will be reduced by 30%, leaving you with $1,050 per month. If you wait until you’re 70, you’d receive 24% more per month or $1,860.
The average life expectancy in the U.S. today is 78.6 years old, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
So if you live until, say, age 80, here’s what your total lifetime benefits would look like depending on what age you began claiming them:
Lifespan Total Lifetime Benefits
When Claiming at 62 Total Lifetime Benefits $226,800
When Claiming at 67 Total Lifetime Benefits $234,000
When Claiming at 70 Total Lifetime Benefits $223,200
In this example, you might come out slightly ahead by waiting until 67 to claim. But you’ll still only receive roughly $7,000 more over a lifetime than if you filed for benefits at 62, and that small difference may not be worth the wait. Then consider the $10,800 less you’d receive by waiting until 70 to file.
Categories: Social Security