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What’s The Right Age To Start Drawing Social Security?

The Queston of "When"?

Most older adults will rely on their Social Security payments to make ends meet in retirement, but with growing numbers delaying retirement, when is the right time to start drawing benefits? The answer varies based on many factors, including your marital status and additional retirement savings. Before you cash your first check, consider these factors:

Eligibility Ages

The typical age at which one becomes eligible for Social Security does vary slightly; most people qualify at age 62, though widows and widowers may qualify at age 60. In today’s economy, however, and with people living longer, few are ready to retire at 62, and most people will benefit more from waiting for their full retirement benefits to begin between the ages of 65 and 67, depending on when you were born.

Of course, no one is making your retire. If you have a job you enjoy and significant financial security, you may elect to wait until age 70. If you decline benefits until this time, you’ll receive added funds in the form of delayed retirement credits.

Why Wait?

Many experts recommend waiting until age 70 to begin drawing Social Security, but is that in your best interests? Again, the answer varies, but for many people, this is the best approach because the payments are larger and waiting means you’ll have more working years paying into your normal retirement savings. Since most people don’t save enough for retirement, this will help maximize your financial comfort in retirement.

Early Benefits Options

There are some exceptional cases in which it’s better to draw early Social Security benefits at age 62, including if you have a highly physical job that could cause serious injury to your aging body or if you are already sick or disabled. Even if you’re not currently receiving disability benefits, taking early Social Security can improve your quality of life. Some people with significant savings also choose to begin receiving these payments early because they want to retire, travel, and enjoy their leisure time.

Social Security benefits are essentially determined via actuarial charts so that you’ll receive about the same amount of money no matter when you begin drawing benefits, but that doesn’t mean all ages are equal. You need to consider your personal goals, your health, and your professional opportunities before retiring. There is no magic age to retire, only an age that fits your aspirations for your post-work life.

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