Many seniors rush to file for Social Security benefits as soon as possible, which means at the age of 62. While this makes sense for some, it also entails accepting a reduced benefit for life.
On the other hand, you can delay filing until you reach full retirement age (FRA), which is the age at which you are eligible for your full monthly benefit based on your wage history. FRA takes effect at 66, 67, or some point in between. However, for each year you delay filing beyond that point, up to the age of 70, your Social Security benefit increases by 8%. That means that if you wait until age 70, you can permanently increase your benefits by 24% to 32%.
Now, let’s get one thing straight: the majority of seniors do not wait until they reach the age of 70 to enrol in Social Security. However, the following are a few reasons you may wish to postpone your filing as long as possible.
1. You desire to compensate for a smaller nest egg.
Perhaps you set lofty goals of saving $1 million or more for retirement. However, if life and its numerous expenses got in the way, you may be concerned about covering your living expenses as you approach retirement and your nest egg isn’t as robust as you’d hoped.
If that is the case, delaying Social Security as long as possible may help you avoid facing an income shortfall. Additionally, it may provide you with more freedom during retirement to spend money on leisure activities without fear or guilt.
2. You wish to provide a more generous survivors benefit to your spouse.
If you die first, your spouse is entitled to 100% of the benefit you collected. As a result, the greater the benefit, the more generous the income stream your spouse will be eligible to receive.
If you have a much younger spouse who was also a lower earner, delaying your filing as long as possible may help your mate avoid financial ruin during your absence. And that is an extremely thoughtful gift to leave behind.
3. You desire motivation to continue working for an extended period of time.
Certain individuals struggle with excessive downtime. If this describes you, then working longer may be worthwhile. And committing to deferring your Social Security filing may provide the impetus you need to avoid retiring in your late 60s and instead work until age 70.
Numerous studies have discovered that retirement increases the risk of depression, as seniors accustomed to a structured schedule frequently struggle in its absence. Extending your employment tenure may help you avoid a negative impact on your mental health. And, while you can always claim Social Security at FRA and continue working beyond that age, you may be more motivated to work longer if you set your sights on filing at 70.
Deferring Social Security until age 70 is not an option for everyone. However, if the opportunity exists in your world, it pays to seize it. You may end up benefiting in multiple ways.
The $18,984 Social Security benefit that the majority of retirees overlook
If you’re like the majority of Americans, you’re falling behind on retirement savings by a few years (or more). However, a few little-known “Social Security secrets” may help ensure that your retirement income is increased. For instance, one simple trick could earn you an additional $18,984 per year! Once you’ve figured out how to maximise your Social Security benefits, we believe you’ll be able to retire with the confidence and peace of mind that we all seek.