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Why You Might Take Your Social Security Benefits Early

Why You Might Take Your Social Security Benefits Early Image

Receiving your social security benefits at an earlier age will not reduce the overall amount of your benefit over time. Because you will be taking it at a younger age, your monthly payment will be smaller than if you had waited but the aggregate payout overtime will be the same amount. To see how the numbers work out use the Social Security table or Social Security detailed calculator to understand how your monthly benefit payout amount differentiates depending on when you claim your benefits.

While it is not always optimal, there are some reasons to take your social security benefit early. If the potential for program insolvency is causing you additional anxiety, then it may make sense to start taking benefits earlier than your full retirement age.. Lack of quality sleep and over anxiousness in waking hours thinking about when to take your benefit can lead to health problems.  

Another reason to take your social security benefit early is if you believe your life expectancy has changed. While the longevity rate keeps increasing the more you age, it does not prevent the unfortunate diagnosis of a life-threatening disease. If your health has declined and you may not live out your statistical life expectancy, then it may be proper to claim your benefit early. Claiming your benefit earlier can give you comfort financially, physically, and mentally.

If you are a legally married woman, you can make a rational case to start taking social security benefits at the earliest possible time if your husband has been the significant wage income earner. Statistically, the wife will outlive the husband, and the spouses can share the wife’s early benefit as an income source. But if you take your benefit early, how long do you have to be married before receiving your deceased spouse’s increased benefit? The answer is, it depends. There are three types of benefits in this married spouse category: spousal, survivor, and divorced spouse. Each status has different qualification rules, and it can be complicated to decipher the best benefit available to you. It is crucial to check Social Security Administration benefits for spouses as well as a trusted legal advisor to outline your best course of action.

Deciding when to take your social security benefits involves numerous factors. A balance has to be struck between the cost of living adjustments (COLA), current expenditures and expected longevity. If we can be of assistance, please don’t hesitate to reach out.  And if you are outside of our service area, please contact an experienced Elder Law Attorney (preferably one that is Board Certified) to assist you.

Jason A. Penrod is only the 20th attorney to be Board Certified as an Elder Law Expert by the Florida Bar and the National Elder Law Foundation.  He is the founder of Family Elder Law (www.familyelderlaw.com) which has offices in Lakeland, Lake Wales, and Sebring, Florida.

  • National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys - Florida Family Elder Law

  • Life Care Planning Law Firms Association

  • Florida Family Elder Law Office

  • Family Elder Law Lakeland Florida Area Chamber of Commerce Member

  • Family Elder Law Lake Wales Florida Area Chamber of Commerce Council Member

  • Family Elder Law Greater Sebring Florida Chamber Of Commerce Member

  • Family Elder Law Florida Bar Certified

  • Family Elder Law Florida Elder Counsel Member

  • Life Care Planning Law Firms Association

  • Life Care Planning Law Firms Association

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