Should I take Social Security now or wait until age 70?


Q. I am 67 and plan on working until I’m 70 at which point my Social Security will be almost $900 more than at 67. Many are telling me I should collect now and bank the amount. That it will be better for me financially but I keep coming back to the $900 per month difference because interest rates are so low. Should I wait till 70?
— Can’t decide

A. Yours is a question many retirees grapple with.

Take a guaranteed smaller amount now, or wait it out for a bigger benefit in the future.

If you decide to continue working and don’t start taking your benefits until after your full retirement age, your benefits will increase for each month you don’t not receive them until age 70, said Bill Connington of Connington Wealth Management in Paramus.

Continuing to work may also increase your benefits as your current earnings could replace an earlier year of lower or no earnings, he said. This would result in a higher benefit.

“The decision on when to take Social Security is dependent on your circumstances,” he said. “While there is no correct claiming age for everybody, the rule of thumb is that if you can afford to wait, then delaying Social Security can pay off over a long retirement.”

Remember that when you reach full retirement age, you can work and earn as much as you want and still get your full Social Security benefit payment, Connington said.

“If you want to look at the numbers, the basic calculation you can use is to first determine what an 8% increase would add to your monthly benefit, then determine how much money in benefits you would be giving up by waiting, and divide that sum by the first one,” he said. “You will get the amount of time — in months — it will take you to break even.

Everyone’s situation is different so do what you feel is in your best interest.

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This story was originally published on Jan. 11, 2022. presents certain general financial planning principles and advice, but should never be viewed as a substitute for obtaining advice from a personal professional advisor who understands your unique individual circumstances.