The earliest you can start receiving your social security is at age 62, full retirement age is 66 (for people born between 1943 and 1954), and the latest you can delay it is until age 70.
At full retirement age 66 you’re entitled to 100% of your amount, but if you take it early at age 62 you receive 75% of that amount. If you wait until age 70 then you get 132% of the full retirement amount.
So, when should you take it?
Let me just say there is no exact right time to take it that is applicable for everyone. For one client’s circumstances it might make sense to take it early, but in another it makes sense to wait.
If you live a long life and you draw upon other sources of income until age 70, then it becomes very attractive to wait. But, we don’t know if you’ll live a long life until after the fact, so there is some supposition around this.
Less than 2% of people wait until age 70, but mathematically that’s the best option (76% more than what you’ll receive if you take it at age 62), and that’s 76% more each year just for waiting 8 more years.
Do not do anything without talking with a financial professional to review your specific case. I run calculations and advise on this all the time, so I’m quite familiar in the various options for clients.
Please contact me if you feel I can help you with your social security planning.