Claiming Age: A Really Big Factor in Making the Correct Social Security Decision

Approaching Social Security can be a daunting task for many folks. Should I claim benefits as soon as possible, should I wait until my full retirement age, or should I wait as long as possible? In fact, the general question of when to claim benefits is the single most frequent question we field at the AMAC Foundation’s Social Security Advisory Service, and our typical response is, “It depends.”  As we respond to these questions, we delve into the requestor’s personal situation to explain the implications of various filing options, but it still comes down to an individual decision.

A Motley Fool post on takes a look at the consequences of a decision to file for retirement benefits at the earliest possibility (age 62), noting that waiting until the latest possibility (age 70) would produce a monthly benefit about 76% greater. The trade-off, of course, lies in the number of years between ages 62 and 70, and that’s where the decision becomes difficult (or at least subject to other personal considerations). In any event, most financial advisors will encourage clients to wait as long as possible to claim benefits if they can, since the decision is permanent (except for the “do over” option that can be exercised in the first year after filing).

Check out the Motley Fool article here. If you have questions about your individual situation, the AMAC Foundation offers a free-to-the-public advisory service to all folks ageing into–or already in–Social Security. This service provides guidance in understanding the complexities of Social Security and the myriad rules and regulations associated with the process for claiming benefits, with NSSA-Certified Social Security Advisors available via email or telephone to discuss options. Learn more about this service via the Foundation’s website.


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