Deciding when to start taking Social Security benefits is confusing and frustrating. The most difficult decision is when to claim benefits. At age 62 monthly checks will be smaller but you will receive them for a longer period of time. If you wait and claim benefits later checks will be larger but you won’t receive as many.
Financial Services Executive Vice President Kelly O’Donnell says people are living longer these days and from their research it pays to delay.
O’Donnell says according to a recent study the typical American couple leaves more than $100,000 on the table in lifetime benefits. For every year you delay receiving benefits there is a 6% to 8% increase in that monthly check. There are individual considerations to take into account. O’Donnell says for those with health issues it is a good idea to claim early.
O’Donnell says you also have to carefully calculate to receive the maximum benefit available to you. This is where professional services may come in handy because there are more than 2,700 rules to calculate benefits and over 8,000 different combinations for married couples to choose from. Money contributed from single individuals who pass away and never use benefits or only for a short period of time ends up going directly to the government.