Question I've mostly heard that you should wait as long as you can to take social security benefits, age 70, because you get more then. But even though someone gets more at 70 than at 66, aren't they still using using up their reserves more, by taking out of their savings/assets, between 66-70? Whereas they collected at 66, they would get less but wouldn't have to use as much of my savings to live on. Or does it all balance out? Is taking it at 68 an option for people? Thanks
Answer Social Security payouts are actuarial. On average, it makes no difference when one begins collecting. If one starts earlier, the monthly amount is correspondingly smaller. If one delays receiving benefits then dies sooner than expected, he risks a smaller total payout. If one begins receiving benefits earlier and lives for a longer period than expected, he may have received more benefits by waiting for a higher monthly benefit. Unless you have information peculiar to your life expectancy, it is probably just best to make this decision based on your financial need.
An important issue here is limiting taxation of your Social Security benefits. Your benefits become taxable as income at a point determined by the total of your other taxable income plus your Social Security benefits. This point is governed by IRS regulation, and it is best to consult your tax advisor to determine this. In the end, unless there are known factors expected to affect your life expectancy, itís usually best to simply delay receiving benefits until you need them, or the monthly payout is maximized.
Retirement planning, tax qualified retirement plans (401(K), IRAs, etc.), mutual funds, insurance used in retirement planning, estate planning (tax planning, transfer of assets, creditor protection).
Comprehensive financial planner, 14 years; Executive Director, Association of Christian Financial Advisors, the nation's largest nonprofit financial planning network. Financial writer and frequent contributor to journalists and media sources.
Organizations Association of Christian Financial Advisors (Executive Director), National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA).