Social Security is available at age 62 for all those that have earned this benefit. But, the age at which you claim can make a huge difference in your financial health during those remaining retirement years.
Every situation is different – everyone has a unique earnings history, everyone needs or wants to retire for different reasons, everyone has different assets over and above Social Security to get them through retirement, some people have family eligible for benefits, some people are on disability that rolls over to Social Security, some people had a spouse that died at an early age, some people have been married more than once, and the list goes on. To rely on advice from your family and neighbors can be a mistake – if they don’t know the rules or the entirety of your situation. Their advice will be based on their situation, and who knows if they got their situation right?
Here are a few situations that may cause you to think:
Single – no beneficiaries, so what are options for filing?
Divorced and single, married 10 years and divorced 2 years with one or more ex -spouses – can I get a Spousal benefit off of them and what if one of them dies?
Surviving spouses with one of more deceased spouses?
Retired couples with custody of grandchildren? What about benefits for caregiver as well?
Couples with handicapped adult children?
Couples with a large age difference?
Couples where the wife is the higher earner?
Filing after Full Retirement Age – what about retroactive benefits and when is it wise to take or not?
If I don’t need my Social Security money and have already filed, should I suspend at Full Retirement Age and what are the consequences?
If I don’t have 40 quarters, but my spouse does, do I have any options?
Should I weigh heavily Break-even point or Life Expectancy?
If I have a government pension, will my Social Security be reduced? How will this affect the widow/widower benefits?
If I am a current widow/widower should I draw the Survivor Benefit or my benefit? Can I switch from one to the other?
If my pension was reduced because of WEP and spouse dies, will my benefit change?
This is only a partial list of questions that came to mind in 5 minutes…..many more that could be addressed. The point is folks, Social Security is very complicated. Study of the rules is a daily event at this address to keep up with the changes. With the changing climate we are experiencing, and because SS offices have been closed and to contact them on national phone line is a very long wait, is not a reason to panic and go ahead and file. Remember, this is basically a permanent decision on your part and will affect your family through life expectancy. Social Security benefits still grow at 8% per year for each year you wait after Full Retirement Age. Think this through – don’t panic. Contact professionals that can help you navigate to the best decision for you and your family.
Pillars LLC is in the Corinth, MS area but service all 50 states. Roy and Diane are both National Social Security Advisors and Roy is a former CPA of over 40 years. You may contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org, on their website at www.pillarsllc.com or call at 601-954-0699. KNOW before you GO!!