Deciding when to take Social Security retirement benefits can affect your income by hundreds of dollars a month. Yet, only 23 percent of workers actually try to maximize their benefits by planning when and how best to claim Social Security, according to Employee Benefit Research Institute’s 2018 Retirement Confidence Survey.
Since you can only make your Social Security decision once–and it cannot be changed–it’s important to plan ahead.
If you’re one of the 77 percent who haven’t made a plan yet, we encourage you to take the first steps toward making a Social Security decision. After all, how can you know if you’re financially ready for retirement if you don’t understand your options regarding Social Security income?
To begin your plan of action:
- Determine your full retirement age by going to the Social Security Administration’s Retirement Age Calculator.
- Create a My Social Security account at ssa.gov. Once you have an account, you’ll be able to see estimates of your future benefits.
- Decide when to take Social Security retirement benefits. This decision can be one of the most important and most complicated ones you’ll make in your retirement planning. The best answer for your Social Security decision will depend upon your individual circumstances, and talking through your many options can help you to get the most out of Social Security.
Download a free guide to help with your Social Security decision.