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The Ultimate Social Security Question: Should You Claim Early?

Jan. 10, 2018

Social Security is a complex topic. Understanding its intricacies could make all the difference in helping you achieve financial security. In particular, you want to time the claim your Social Security benefits strategically. Bewildered? This guide will set you straight.

A Brief Introduction to Social Security

There are four types of social security benefits available to citizens of the United States: retirement, disability, dependents, and survivors benefits. Retirement benefits are given to workers who have been employed tax payers for a certain number of years. Those employees are eligible to claim their Social Security retirement benefits at the age of 62. However, full retirement age is between the ages of 65 and 67 based upon birthday.

Early vs. Late Claiming

The government incentivizes employees to continue working through full retirement age by permanently reducing Social Security benefits by a certain percentage if claimed between the age of 62 and full retirement age. On the other hand, the amount of your benefits will even increase permanently if you wait until age 70 to make your claim. However, claiming late is not always better. There are a few specific situations in which claiming early and accepting the permanent decrease in benefits actually makes the most sense.

Claim Early If You Are Disabled

Nearly 9 million people in America are so disabled that they cannot continue to work. If you are one of these Americans, and you are collecting disability benefit from Social Security, you’re actually collecting that benefit from your social security retirement benefits. If you have no other form of income, it makes more sense to claim your social security retirement early in order to prevent drawing it down.

Claim Early If You Are Chronically Sick

Unfortunately, far too many citizens find themselves diagnosed with a chronic and potentially deadly disease. If you are working with a shorter life expectancy, it makes sense to claim your social security retirement benefits early and use that money to fight for your health or ensure your family is financially independent before your passing.

Claim Early if Nobody Else Depends On You

If you need extra income at the age of 62 and nobody else will need your social security benefits after you are gone, then there’s really no reason not to claim your retirement early. This is particularly true if you are single or the lower-earning person in your marriage.

This is a major decision, so it is best to do it with the help of an experienced attorney like Attorney Swaney at Swaney Law Firm in St. Louis, Missouri. Call (314) 310-8373 now to begin your free consultation.