The earlier you start taking Social Security benefits, the less money you will receive in your annual benefit. This truth is reiterated time and again as individuals get closer to retirement, and many senior citizens believe it is a terrible idea to dip into their social security payments early.
However, according to our Social Security lawyers, this isn’t always the case. There are times when dipping into your Social Security fund prematurely is the most prudent decision you can make.
When You Expect a Shorter Life
Most analyses of Social Security funds have breakeven dates occurring in an individual’s late 70s. While many of us may hope to live well into our 80s or later, you may have evidence that you might not make it to that point. If the odds are against you reaching your expected breakeven date, you may want to go ahead and take early benefits at age 62.
Our Morgan & Morgan attorneys at law note that taking early benefits may be unwise if you have other family members who will benefit from your Social Security funds after you die. If you expect a shorter lifespan and have dependents, talk to one of our attorneys to learn about your options.
When You Can Double-Dip Thanks to Your Spouse
Married couples often will try to make the most out of their combined Social Security benefits by using the “file-and-suspend strategy.” This benefits strategy allows spouses to apply for a benefit based on one spouse’s work record while waiting until later to start collecting benefits on the other spouse’s record. You will have to wait until 66 to use this strategy, but it’s possible to receive a larger overall amount this way than to have both spouses wait until benefits max out at 70.
When You Just Don’t Want to Gamble
It is impossible to predict what life will bring us, even in the near future. If you have lived your life with dreams of taking vacations, pursuing hobbies, or any other dream that might need funds to fulfill, you may want to start your Social Security benefits early to ensure that you get to achieve those dreams before the health complications associated with aging keep you from doing so.
Ultimately, deferring Social Security benefits is an optimistic gamble. You are waiting with the hope that you will have a larger dollar amount to live off of, and this strategy is great for many individuals. However, it is occasionally better to go ahead and dip into your Social Security funds when you are younger so that you can fully enjoy the money it gives you.
If you would like advice about when you should begin drawing your Social Security benefits, talk to one of our skilled social security Athens, GA lawyers at Morgan & Morgan.
Image Courtesy of: Wikimedia Commons