6 Times You Should File For Social Security Early

Filing for social security early is typically not recommended. However, there are several circumstances when it makes sense. Is early collection right for you?

Waiting is a pretty solid strategy. After all, claiming Social Security before full retirement age locks in your monthly benefit at a reduced level. For those claiming at age 62, it’s as much as 30 percent lower. However, early filers aren’t necessarily making a mistake. Here are a few situations in particular that could make it worth reassessing an early claiming strategy:

Financial Need

Social Security benefits can make a big difference in your bottom line. For the typical retiree, they represent 38 percent of income, according to Social Security Administration data. Keep in mind, though, that if your situation improves—say, you find a new job —you may be allowed a one-time reset.

Big Retirement Plans

Clients who have plan well for retirement and aren’t counting on Social Security benefits to pay the bills may find filing early gives them the extra cash flow for bucket-list travel and hobbies while they still have their health and energy.

Poor Health

A 65-year-old man today can expect to live to 84.3. A 65-year-old woman can expect to live to 86.6, according to the Social Security Administration. If you have a particular health concern or other good reason to think you won’t be around that long, that may warrant filing earlier rather than later.

Other Beneficiaries 

If you have dependent, underage children when you qualify for retirement benefits, do your research. They may also be eligible to receive a benefit based on your record, said Fillet.

Retirement Assets

If the alternative is to draw from your portfolio. It’s worth crunching the numbers to see how a bigger drawdown in the years you delay may affect your chances of outliving your money. The reduced compounding power in your portfolio might be more damaging than taking a lower Social Security payout.

Marital Status

Married couples have a number of strategies they might employ, but it’s widowed individuals and those who are divorced who may particularly want to take another look at claiming early, Mendels said.

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