Many pre-retirees don’t fully understand how social security benefits work according to a recently released study conducted by AARP and the Financial Planning Association.  Click here to view the full study.  Here are three important facts from the study that I found to be very useful:

    1 – You can start taking benefits at age 62

    The earliest age you can start taking social security benefits is age 62.  However, the longer you wait, the more benefits you can collect.  For example, you may be able to collect 25% – 30% MORE benefits if you wait until full retirement age, which is currently between age 66 and 67, depending on when you were born.

    2 – You can defer your benefits up to age 70

    Waiting until age 70 to start claiming benefits can boost your benefit by up to 8% per year that you wait.  This is known as the “Delayed Retirement Credit”.  Click here to view a helpful chart on the Social Security Website.

    3 – Spousal Benefits May Apply

    A divorced individual can collect social security benefits based on the ex-spouse’s work history if the couple was married for at least 10 years.

    Bottom line: make sure to evaluate your social security options with a financial planner before making any decisions that may impact your retirement plans!


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