Created: March 27, 2022
Modified: November 28, 2022

Why You Need to Know When to Claim Social Security

Joel Johnson, CFP® discusses common mistakes that are made when claiming Social Security on Better Money.

Claiming benefits at the wrong age

Most people who claim their benefits at the wrong age are taking it too young. For someone who is wealthier, it may make sense to claim early and leave the rest of their accounts alone. If Social Security will be your only retirement income, try to wait as long as possible.

If you begin collecting while you are still working and make over $17,000, you will be penalized. Most people should not collect at this time, but there are exceptions to this.

It’s important to note that everyone’s situation is unique.

Do Social Security benefits increase at full retirement age?

The short answer is no.

You will not receive more money, but your monthly payments will be larger the longer you wait.

Rules for married people

Joel Johnson, CFP® discusses what happens when one spouse begins collecting their benefit and their spouse passes away before collecting their own. The surviving spouse then steps into the deceased spouse’s benefit, which can result in a much larger Social Security payout.

Ultimately, deciding when to collect S.S. is a unique situation that needs to be put into context with the rest of someone’s financial picture.

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