The Case for Claiming Social Security Early - Motley Fool

Generally speaking, there are two schools of thought about when one should claim their Social Security benefits. Many, if not most, financial advisors will suggest that waiting longer – at least until your full retirement age and possibly until age 70 – is smart because, if you enjoy at least average life expectancy, you’ll collect both a higher monthly benefit and more in lifetime benefits by waiting. The other school of thought is to claim your benefits early – that you’ll get about the same amount of total money regardless of when you claim – and you can use that money to enjoy life more when you’re younger. This latter philosophy posits that you’ll become less active and require less money as you age.

The article to which this post links promotes the latter strategy – claim earlier and enjoy the money while you still can, and it makes an solid case for doing so. But at the end the article also suggests that well-reasoned planning should always be done before deciding when to claim Social Security. That planning should extend to ensuring that you can remain financially comfortable for all of your retirement years, even those years in the final chapter of your life. One way is to build a sizable nest egg for your retirement (as the article suggests), but another is to make the most of your Social Security potential, which may mean waiting longer to claim. In the end, it all comes down to your personal circumstances – your need or desire for early benefits, your health and, especially, your life-expectancy. The last thing you want to do is run out of money in your eldest years, so a plan which takes an honest look at your current and future financial need is crucial. Click here to read the Motley Fool article by Chuck Saletta offering “the best reason to take Social Security before age 70.”

Also, if you’re unsure about how these basics apply to you, or if you have any questions about your individual situation under Social Security, note that the AMAC Foundation provides a free-to-the-public service to help Americans navigate the complexities of this program. Learn more about it here…

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