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Delay Filing for Social Security Until Age 70? Some Say No Thanks

Social Security COLA

It is advice that has been ingrained onto the minds of most American adults: Find a way to delay claiming Social Security benefits.

If one goes through the numbers, it really is a compelling case. For those individuals who need to start collecting the benefits at age sixty-two, the earliest age to do so, the maximum amount will be $2,324. However, if one can wait till age seventy to file, he or she would be eligible for the absolute maximum benefit amount—which currently sits at $3,895. At full retirement age, currently sixty-six and two months and will gradually rise in the coming years, the maximum amount is $3,113.

“Workers planning for their retirement should be aware that retirement benefits depend on age at retirement. If a worker begins receiving benefits before his/her normal (or full) retirement age, the worker will receive a reduced benefit. A worker can choose to retire as early as age sixty-two, but doing so may result in a reduction of as much as 30 percent,” the Social Security Administration (SSA) says.

“Starting to receive benefits after normal retirement age may result in larger benefits. With delayed retirement credits, a person can receive his or her largest benefit by retiring at age seventy,” it adds.

Filing When First Eligible

But obviously, each American’s financial situation and retirement outlook are quite different. And for one contributor who penned an op-ed that was seen on the finance website MarketWatch, he is not planning to wait around till age seventy to collect Social Security benefits.

“As soon as I’m eligible, I’ll strongly consider claiming Social Security. Why? I never knew either of my grandfathers. My mom’s dad died of a stroke when she was nineteen years old. One of my favorite photos of my parents’ wedding is that of my uncle—my mom’s oldest brother—walking her down the aisle. My grandfather never got to see my parents wed,” he said.

“My dad’s father died very young as well. Dad had no memory of his father. My dad, Jorge, passed away at seventy-two. I was grateful he had ten years of retirement, and was able to enjoy his grandchildren and have some years of leisure. He had earned it after almost forty years at a retread factory,” he continued.

Hedging Bets

Since the years after retirement aren’t guaranteed, the contributor believes it’s a smart decision to “hedge my bets.”

“I understand the numbers and statistics that support claiming Social Security benefits later,” he noted. “But I can’t help but want to hedge my bets and claim my benefits at age sixty-two. I’m 100 percent certain that, if I’m still working at the plant at that age, I won’t hesitate to retire and claim my benefits.”

Ethen Kim Lieser is a Washington state-based Science and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek, and Arirang TV. Follow or contact him on LinkedIn.

Written By

Ethen Kim Lieser is a Washington state-based Science and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek, and Arirang TV.

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