Retiring soon? If so, you may be wrestling with the decision of when to file for Social Security. It’s permanent, so it’s a big decision. Once you start receiving benefits, you can’t change your mind.
The timing of your filing also plays a big role in your benefit amount. If you file early, you’ll see your benefits reduced. On the other hand, you could delay your filing, which would lead to an increase in your benefit amount.
You can file as early as age 62. However, your benefit is permanently reduced if you file at any point before your full retirement age (FRA). Most people reach their FRA between their 66th and 67th birthdays.1
You don’t have to file at your FRA, though. In fact, you can delay your filing as late as age 70. For each year you wait past your FRA, your benefit amount increases 8 percent. Conversely, your amount could be reduced as much as 25 percent if you file before your FRA.1
For nearly your entire adult life, you’ve focused on accumulating assets for retirement. When you stop working, though, your focus will likely turn to how you should generate income from those assets. It’s not a simple task. There are a number of factors and variables that may play into the decision.
If retirement is quickly approaching, you may have a number of big decisions on your hands. Do you work part-time in retirement or sit back and enjoy your free time? Do you stay in your home or downsize? Is now the time to finally take those vacations you’ve been putting off?
One of the biggest decisions you’ll make is when to start Social Security benefits. It’s such an important decision because it has permanent ramifications. Once you start your benefits, there’s no going back to change them.