When you decide to take your social security retirement benefit will have a significant impact on the amount of the benefits. Your “full retirement age”, according to social security rules, will vary depending upon your birth year, between the range of age 65 if you were born in 1937 or earlier, to age 67 if you were born in 1960 or later. You can take benefits earlier than this, as early as age 62, and receive a reduced benefit amount, or take benefits later than this, up until age 70, and receive an increased benefit amount. The exact amount of your social security retirement benefit amount can be found on your social security statement, which is sent to you annually by the social security administration. You can also access your benefit information online at www.ssa.gov. When you should file will depend on a number of factors including your health and life expectancy and your additional financial resources available to you to fund your retirement.
In many situations a strong case can be made for delaying the taking of social security benefits as long as possible, until age 70, because in many cases this will result in the largest benefit overall. Of course each individual’s situation is different and a thorough analysis should be done taking into account a number of different factors unique to the individual. A financial adviser can assist with the process of analyzing your situation in relation to your balance sheet and income statement, to help you determine the option which best suits your needs.