By Robert G. Yetman, Jr. Editor At Large
Financial advisors are often asked by their clients when they should begin taking Social Security. As you may know, you can begin taking it as early as age 62, but if you do, you will receive diminished benefits compared to if you waited – you roughly lose seven percent for each year before age 66 that you begin withdrawals (and, conversely, you gain about 7 percent for each year over 66 that you wait to start accessing your benefits, up to age 70, which is latest you can wait to begin taking benefits).
This said, there can be reasons for starting early. For one thing, what if you simply need the money and just can’t wait? That may be the best reason of all. Relatedly, you might not be in the best of health, and may not expect to live to at least the average life expectancy for your demographic; in that case, you may want to begin withdrawing.
The point is, while it is a good general rule of thumb to wait to receive maximum benefits, considerations unique to you might make it prudent to begin earlier withdrawals. Jim Blair, a former Social Security Administrator and consultant in Social Security Benefits, discusses more fully the reasons you might want to take benefits early in his great ebook The 2015 Social Security Retirement Guide. The ebook is about how to make sure you’re applying for benefits in the best way possible for you (as in, MAXIMIZING your benefits as much as possible), and it’s loaded with all kinds of great information for those seeking to safely and effectively navigate the oft-times treacherous Social Security application waters. It’s important to note that the way the system is set up, you must make the right decisions the first time when completing the application, because it can be practically impossible to make changes once you’ve formally filed. There is a provision to re-file your application within 12 months of your first benefit payout, but that is the only time you may apply again for benefits in your lifetime, and, even then, the appeals process can be very daunting…so you want to do everything you can to get it right the first time.
Anyway, as if the ebook is not enough, purchasers enjoy email support for any questions they may have – considering the price of this book, $24.95, that is an unbelievable added benefit; as a matter of fact, the email contact is also a “live” link at the end of the book, so you can reach out to Blair immediately. What’s more, the product comes with a 60-day, money-back guarantee. It is these kinds of perks that take a very good product into the realm of great. If applying for Social Security benefits is anywhere on your horizon, your parents’ horizon, or that of anyone else who’s important to you, I recommend picking up a copy of The 2015 Social Security Retirement Guide as soon as possible.