When Should I Take Social Security?

Through our work with American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and United Airlines Pilots, we understand that determining when should I take your Social Security can be a complex decision. The answer to this question depends on a variety of factors, including your financial situation, health status, and personal preferences. Here are some key things to consider:

  1. Full retirement Age:

    Your full retirement age (FRA) is the age at which you’re eligible to receive your full Social Security retirement benefits. If you were born between 1943 and 1954, your FRA is 66. If you were born in 1955 or later, your FRA gradually increases up to 67.

  2. Early Retirement:

    You can start receiving Social Security retirement benefits as early as age 62. However, if you choose to start benefits before your FRA, your monthly benefit will be permanently reduced.

  3. Delayed Retirement:

    If you delay starting Social Security retirement benefits past your FRA, your monthly benefit will increase by a certain percentage, up to age 70.

  4. Life Expectancy:

    If you expect to live a long time, delaying benefits could result in a larger lifetime payout. However, if you have health problems or a family history of shorter life spans, taking benefits earlier may make more sense.

  5. Financial Need:

    If you need the income from Social Security retirement benefits to make ends meet, taking benefits as soon as you’re eligible may be necessary.

  6. Employment Status:

    If you continue to work while receiving Social Security retirement benefits before your FRA, your benefits may be reduced if you earn more than a certain amount. After your FRA, your benefits will not be reduced regardless of your earnings.

  7. Spousal Benefits:

    If you’re married, divorced, or widowed, you may be eligible for spousal benefits, which can impact your decision on when to take your own benefits.

Consider all of these factors carefully when deciding when should you take your Social Security retirement benefits. It may also be helpful to consult with a financial advisor or Social Security specialist when taking your Social Security to ensure you’re making the best decision for your specific situation.

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