Is It Still Smart to Delay Social Security Benefits? | Personal Finance

Say, for instance, you have an FRA of 67 years old, and by claiming at that age, you’d receive $1,500 per month. If you were to claim at 62, your benefit amount would be reduced by 30%, leaving you with $1,050 per month. Wait until age 70 to file, though, and you’d receive a 24% bonus, giving you a total of $1,860 per month.

Keep in mind that, in theory, your total benefits should be roughly the same over a lifetime regardless of the age you file. By claiming earlier, each check will be smaller, but you’ll have collected more of them over a lifetime. If you delay benefits, you won’t receive as many checks, but each one will be bigger. However, if your goal is to maximize your monthly income, delaying benefits could be a smart move.

Why it may be better to claim early

While delaying benefits may be a good decision for some people, there are plenty of reasons to consider claiming earlier.

For example, it will give you more time to enjoy your retirement. You don’t necessarily have to retire and claim benefits at the same time, but they often go hand-in-hand. Not everyone wants to wait until their 70s to retire, and by claiming earlier, you can get a jump-start on retirement when you’re still young and healthy.

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