Unsure about when you should start taking your social security? You have three basic options for starting to draw your benefits: you can start early, wait until you are at “full” retirement age, or if you can wait a few years longer you can qualify for the monthly maximum.
The earliest allowable age is 62 years old. Starting your benefits at this age may be best if you are looking to work only part time or you are in need of the income. Early withdrawal does have its draw backs, as it will permanently lower the monthly amount you receive.
Full Retirement Age:
Between the ages of 66 and 67 is considered full retirement age. If you wait until now to take your benefits, they are no longer reduced by your earned income. Your monthly income would still be higher if you waited until maximum age, but at this point it is higher than starting early.
Age 70 is the maximum age for social security benefits. If you wait until this age, you guarantee the highest monthly payment for the rest of your life. This would be the most beneficial choice if your health allows it, assuming the social security program does not change in the interim due to politics.
The above three ages are the major milestones, but the years between are also important. At any point in between you are also able to begin taking social security benefits. But, as you continue to work you will be increasing your total benefits if you are earning a high income.
Other things that impact your benefits are your marital status and the age and total earnings of each spouse. If you are considering starting your social security payments soon, call your accountant today to see which option is best for you!