Delaying Social Security? Don’t Make This Major Mistake


Social Security is a primary source of income for millions of retirees, and deferring benefits can be a smart option. The earliest you can apply for Social Security is age 62. But the longer you wait to claim, the more you’ll receive each month, which can add up to hundreds or even thousands of dollars. And that can go a long way in retirement.

However, it is possible to wait too long to apply for benefits, which can be incredibly costly. Here’s how to avoid this error.

Image source: Getty Images.

How Long Should You Defer Social Security?

While you can claim benefits at any time after age 62, you will only receive higher payments if you start claiming between the ages of 62 and 70. Waiting past age 70 to file your benefit will not increase your benefit amount any further. In other words, by delaying benefits beyond age 70, you are simply missing out on the money you should be receiving.

Suppose your full retirement age is 67 and you would receive $1,800 per month by claiming at that age. By waiting until age 70, you would receive an additional 24%, giving you a total of $2,232 per month.

For example, if you file at age 75, you will still receive only $2,232 per month. If you don’t receive benefits between the ages of 70 and 75, you’re missing out on nearly $27,000 a year in benefits, which works out to about $134,000 over five years.

What if you’re not ready to claim yet?

More and more employees are choosing to postpone their retirement. According to a 2022 survey by the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, about 31% of workers say they expect to retire sometime after age 65, and another 19% say they don’t plan to retire at all.

If you plan to continue working after age 70, you may not be ready to take Social Security. Regardless of when you retire (if you choose to retire at all), it is wise to start receiving benefits at age 70 anyway.

You don’t have to retire when you start taking Social Security, and it’s possible to work while receiving benefits. Even once you reach retirement age, your income will not affect the amount of your benefit.

When delaying distributions can be risky

Postponing Social Security after age 62 will result in bigger monthly checks, but it’s not the right move for everyone. In some cases, it’s better to claim sooner rather than later. While it’s not the most pleasant topic, your life expectancy can influence your decision on when to take Social Security.

You should receive about the same amount of Social Security throughout your life, regardless of when you file. If you claim early, you will receive smaller checks, but more in total. Delay benefits, and you collect fewer checks, but each one will be larger.

These calculations assume that you will live an average lifespan, around your late 70s or early 80s. If you expect to live longer, you can receive more over your lifetime by deferring benefits. But if you think you’ll have a shorter-than-average lifespan, you better claim it early.

The best age to take Social Security depends on your unique situation, but waiting past age 70 can be costly. With the right strategy, you can maximize your benefits and enjoy a more comfortable retirement.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voice
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.


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