Social Security income requires a strategy. We’re here to help.
You can claim social security at age 62, but should you? You can delay your claim until age 70 and you’ll get more monthly income, but how will you cover expenses in the meantime? Will you live long enough to get as much out of the “system” as you would have had you started earlier?
Like most retirement decisions, your claiming strategy depends on your personal situation. Deciding when to claim can be confusing. Don’t let the complexities of Social Security keep you from making an informed decision. Optimizing your claiming strategy may increase your lifetime income by hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Click below to schedule a complimentary and personalized social security review. At no charge we will review your various Social Security projections and then we can discuss how those options fit into your broader retirement income strategy.
Common questions our clients ask:
• What strategy is suitable if I anticipate a long life?
• How will my benefit selection potentially impact my spouse’s benefit options?
• How do I maximize my spouse’s benefit?
• How does my strategy selection impact the taxes I pay?
• How do I minimize the taxes I pay on my Social Security benefit? Is it possible?
• How much can I earn and not be penalized if I claim Social Security earlier than my full retirement age?
• How do I claim benefits from a former spouse?
It’s Important to Remember…
Social Security Administration representatives are prohibited from offering advice, so it is important to seek guidance from a qualified financial professional who can help you build a holistic strategy that incorporates Social Security into your broader retirement goals and objectives.
While the “right” time to claim Social Security depends on your personal situation, we can show you how you might be able to increase your Social Security benefit by as much as 76%! But remember, just because you can doesn’t mean you should!
Full Retirement Age (FRA) by Year of Birth
Remember that age 62 is significant! It is the earliest age at which you can start a benefit based upon your own earnings record or a current or divorced spouse benefit. [You can begin receiving a widow’s benefit at age 60.]
1937 or prior65
193865 and 2 months
193965 and 4 months
194065 and 6 months
194165 and 8 months
194265 and 10 months
195566 and 2 months
195666 and 4 months
195766 and 6 months
195866 and 8 months
195966 and 10 months
1960 and after67
Helpful Glossary of Social Security Terms & Definitions
When filing for Social Security benefits, a person may have a choice of filing on their own account with the Social Security Administration (SSA) – i.e., filing based on their own work history as linked to their Social Security Number – or filing on someone else’s account (e.g., a husband might file for spousal benefits based on his wife’s account).
The age at which a worker, spouse, or survivor receives their full retirement benefit amount. Claiming benefits before FRA results in a reduced benefit, and claiming certain benefits after FRA can lead to an increased benefit. A worker’s FRA varies based on their year of birth and can be as high as 67 for younger clients.
The benefits received by a person filing for benefits on their own SSA account. A summary of the rules around worker benefits, spousal benefits, and many other aspects of Social Security can be found in this document (PDF).
The benefits received by the spouse (and/or in some cases, the ex-spouse) of a worker, when filing for spousal benefits on the worker’s account.
The benefits of a widow or widower (also, in some cases, children and even dependent parents) are eligible to be received based on their deceased family member’s work record. LifeYield’s Social Security Optimizer currently only considers benefits for a surviving spouse, not the other family members.
An amount determined by the SSA which represents a worker’s anticipated monthly benefit if they claim at their FRA. This monthly benefit amount is used as the basis for all benefit calculations based on the worker’s record: the worker’s own benefit, plus any dependent benefits such as those for a spouse or widow(er). Also known as Primary Insurance Amount (PIA).
The type of application a spouse files in order to claim spousal benefits when they’re eligible for either their own benefit or a spousal benefit at FRA or later. Their application for benefits is “restricted” to only the spousal benefit from their spouse’s record.
For a worker who receives pension from government employment, reached initial eligibility in 1985 or later, and worked fewer than 30 years in a job where Social Security taxes were paid. A reduction in their FRA benefit of up to half of their monthly government pension amount may apply. This adjustment also impacts dependent benefits such as spousal benefits but does not impact survivor benefits. More details on the WEP and the rules surrounding it (including some exemptions) are available in this document (PDF).
For a spouse or widow(er) receiving spousal or survivor benefits on another worker’s record, and who receives a pension from government employment; their benefit is typically reduced by 2/3 of the monthly pension amount and may be eliminated completely. More details on the rules regarding the GPO can be found in this document (PDF).
Social Security benefits are subject to an annual increase linked to inflation. In recent years, COLA increases have taken effect in December.