social-security-benefitsIs it a good idea to take early Social Security benefits, or should you wait until you reach your full retirement age or even longer? The Social Security Administration says that they calculate payments with a formula that is based upon life expectancy. If a person lives the amount of years that the chart predicts, the total amount of all payments should be the same no matter which age benefits begin.

Of course, this means that the earlier that Social Security retirement benefits begin, the smaller each monthly payment will be. On the other hand, taking payments later to get bigger monthly payments means that there will not be as many payments.

Can reduced Social Security payments ever get increased?
While it is possible to be stuck with a lower monthly payment for life, there is a way to increase it. If the Social Security beneficiary returns to work and earns enough income to pay into Social Security, she might get her checks recalculated based upon her increased contributions. But other than that, the decision is fairly irrevocable.

Will taking early Social Security affect Medicare?
Some people put off applying for Medicare benefits because they plan to keep working and enjoy good group health insurance from an employer. You don’t have to apply for Medicare in order to apply for Social Security. In fact, if you have not turned 65, you probably don’t even quality.

Similarly, you are free to apply for Medicare even if you are delaying Social Security payments. People still qualify for Medicare at 65, but full retirement age is getting delayed past that age for many. For example, a 55-year-old will not even qualify for full retirement until the age of 67.

What’s the right age for Social Security retirement benefits?
You have to consider your health and financial situation to decide the best age to begin collecting payments from Social Security. For some older people, having the ability to take smaller payments sooner would help them live more comfortably. Others may delay benefits until full retirement age or even beyond that to increase the monthly pay they plan to eventually collect.

Collecting earlier might make financial sense for lucky people who don’t really need an extra income, but it carries its own risk that fewer payments might be collected during a lifetime. Also, there is a time value of money. The faster you can save it or pay off bills, the better off you will be.

Do you have more retirement questions?
Contact us here at Trusted Senior Specialists if you have any more questions about retirement income and health benefits. We have helped thousands of seniors make the right choices, so we hope you let us help you: 855-474-6234 or at