As the large Baby Boom generation ages, roughly 10,000 Americans are celebrating their 65th birthday every day, according to the Pew Research Center. If you are heading toward retirement, you may be trying to determine the best time to begin taking your Social Security benefits. That’s an important decision, because it can have a significant impact on the amount that you’ll receive, now and through the rest of your retirement years. Retiring before you reach full retirement age could reduce your benefit by as much as 30%, but you can also raise your benefit by as much as 8% for every year you stay on the job until age 70.
Add into your planning the fact that there are strategies that spouses can use enhance the benefit amounts they receive over time. One spouse may decide to file sooner or later, for example, based on both spouses’ lifetime earnings history and health situation. Or, depending on how you coordinate your retirement planning, one spouse might start taking a spousal benefit based on the other’s earnings before reaching full retirement age. There are several options for maximizing your benefits—and some pitfalls you should avoid. If you’re facing this decision, contact us for personalized expert advice.