Once you reach the age of 62, you are eligible to apply for Social Security benefits whenever you wish. However, if you wish to receive your full monthly benefit based on your personal earnings record, you must wait until you reach the full retirement age of 67, applicable to those born in 1960 or later. You might consider applying for Social Security at 65, which seems like a reasonable compromise.
You might have plans that do not align with the idea of waiting until the age of 67 to start receiving Social Security benefits. Consequently, you might be considering filing for Social Security at the age of 65. Opting for this route implies you will not be claiming benefits as early as possible, but it coincides with the time you become eligible for Medicare. Nevertheless, there could be three compelling reasons to claim your benefits even earlier than that.
Early Social Security Claims
Firstly, the desire to retire from your current job could motivate you to claim your benefits earlier. Some people are fortunate enough to have a job they love, with satisfying tasks, reasonable working hours, and amicable colleagues. If this resonates with your experience and you enjoy what you do, it might be worth continuing in your role and accruing more Social Security benefits.
However, if you detest your job and have been at it for several decades, you might be yearning for a change. When you’re in your early 60s, you shouldn’t feel obligated to continue with a job that brings you unhappiness.
In this situation, claiming Social Security benefits early could provide you with more flexibility. This could allow you to make a career switch that makes your remaining years in the workforce more enjoyable, despite potentially earning less.
Secondly, the aspiration to start a business could be another reason to claim your Social Security benefits early. Embarking on a new business venture is inherently risky, and perhaps this was a risk you were unwilling to take when you were younger and raising a family.
Nevertheless, if you’ve reached your early 60s and have a solid financial footing, it might be beneficial to claim Social Security early and utilize your benefits as capital for your new business. Starting earlier might enable you to establish a consistent income stream throughout your retirement.
Lastly, the desire to travel while you are still physically able to enjoy it might be a compelling reason to claim your benefits early. Although there are no stipulations preventing people in their late 60s or 70s from exploring the world, health concerns may impede your travel plans in the future.
Balancing Early Benefits with Lifelong Dreams and Financial Strategies for a Secure Retirement
If you’ve been diligent about saving throughout your life, you deserve to experience the vacations you’ve always dreamt of. If claiming Social Security benefits early can make this possible, then it might be worth it. Although you might be inclined to wait until at least 65 to file for Social Security, to avoid significantly reducing your benefits, the circumstances outlined above could justify an even earlier claim.
For many Americans, retirement savings may not be as robust as they would like. However, by taking advantage of some lesser-known “Social Security secrets,” you could significantly enhance your retirement income. For instance, one simple strategy could increase your income by up to $21,756 per year! Once you understand how to optimize your Social Security benefits, you can confidently look forward to a financially secure retirement.