Choosing the Right Time to Receive Social Security

by Jerrold Bartholomew

Social Security PosterOne very important matter for retiring seniors is the decision of when to begin receiving social security benefits. This helpful calculator from AARP can help in the decision-making process. But be forewarned: there is a lot of information on the internet suggesting that you should delay receiving benefits as long possible. And this is not without some merit as your benefits will be higher and theoretically provide better cashflow through your retirement the longer you wait to begin receiving benefits. However, in many cases the modest monthly gain for waiting is not offset by the years of foregone benefits. Consider it this way: If you retire at 65 with a household income of about $50,000.00, you can immediately begin receiving about $1,750.00 per month. If you choose to wait until age 67 to begin receiving social security, your monthly benefit will be about $1,988.00 per month. Think you should wait for the extra $238.00 per month? Well, in order to receive that additional $238.00 per month, you will not receive $42,000.00 in benefits ($1750.00 x 24 months = $42,000.00). The additional $238.00 per month will take you a little more than 176 months to make up the difference between the total of what you would have received with the earlier election and waiting to have the higher monthly payout.

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