If SS is there- 70% take it early
When you choose to begin receiving your Social Security benefits is an important retirement decision, one you shouldn't take lightly.
Money magazine reports that seven in 10 people opt to receive their Social Security benefits before reaching full retirement age at 65. That's not always the best choice.
You would be well advised to start taking your money out at 62 for the following reasons:
You need the income your Social Security benefits would provide.
Your health is poor. Also consider your family medical history and family longevity. You might not want to gamble on being around to collect higher Social Security benefits.
Your break-even point is a decade or more away, writes Robert C. Carlson in "The New Rules of Retirement." That's the point in time when you would come out ahead by waiting to receive your Social Security benefits -- when those full retirement benefits would eclipse the amount accumulated had you begun receiving benefits at 62. The farther away your break-even point, the less likely you may be to live long enough to benefit from waiting.
On the other hand, you should wait until full retirement at age 65 (or later, if you were born after 1943) for the following reasons:
You are healthy, or if your family has a history of longevity.
Your break-even point is close enough that you could benefit from waiting.
You are still employed. If you are working and collect Social Security before you reach full retirement age, your benefits may be reduced. You could even end up losing money. Carlson estimates that $1 in benefits is lost for every $2 of employment earnings above the Social Security limit. The limit applies only to people taking their benefits before full retirement age, and is adjusted annually based on inflation.
You're counting on future benefits. If you take your Social Security benefits before full retirement age, the amount you receive stays low -- even after you pass full retirement age. That in turn would affect your spouse's survivor benefits, should you pass away first.
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