Taking retroactive Social Security will have consequences

Once you pass your full retirement age, delaying your Social Security claim will allow you to earn Delayed Retirement Credits of 2/3rds of 1% per month of delay, meaning you’ll get a higher benefit for when you finally claim.. Social Security also allows you to take up to 6 months of retroactive benefits as a lump sum (but only back to your full retirement age) which can be tempting to anyone who needs a little extra cash. However, taking that retroactive lump sum can have some long term consequences, such as reducing your benefit amount for the rest of your life, exposing you to additional taxes on your benefits, lower benefits for your survivor, and possibly affecting the amount of your Medicare premium.  All of this is explained by Mary Beth Franklin in this Investment News article about choosing between a lump sum and a higher benefit. Click here to read more.

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