Taking Social Security early really gets a bad reputation. Many people on the internet really hound on it as being a bad idea. I have to admit that I hound on it sometimes as well, but just like everything else, there are some notable exceptions.
In an effort to give a more well-rounded view of this topic, here are 4 good reasons to start Social Security as soon as you can.
You Need the Income
Some people retire and simply need the income. Obviously, in an ideal situation they’d have the financial resources to delay benefits and get the increased amounts. In some cases, that is simply not in the cards and starting benefits early is the best solution.
One situation that many people find themselves in is when they are forced to retire before they had planned to. This could have been caused by a disability or a family situation. In these cases, some people will be forced to retire with less pension income than expected and will rely more heavily on their Social Security benefits.
You are Single and Have Health Issues
When someone is married, their Social Security decisions directly affect what their spouse can receive while both spouses are alive, and almost more importantly, what benefits the surviving spouse will be left with when one of them passes away. This is why it can often make sense for an ill spouse to delay benefits even if it doesn’t make sense for his own life expectancy.
If someone is single, the situation is a little simpler. A single person doesn’t have to worry about a spouse’s benefit so they are simply trying to maximize their own benefit, so if a single person has health issues that are likely to lead to a shortened life expectancy, it may make sense to start benefits early.
Your Spouse Is Older Than You and Has Lower Benefits
Whenever the older spouse has a lower earning record and they could receive more from spousal benefits from the higher-earning spouse’s records, it may make sense for the higher-earner to start benefits early. This would allow the older lower-earner to start drawing spousal benefits based on their work record.
You will want to run the numbers for your situation, but this strategy can lead to a higher amount of cumulative benefits than delaying.
You Have Minor or Disabled Children at Home
When you have minor or disabled children at home, your spouse and your children may be eligible for Social Security benefits, but for them to receive benefits based on your record, you will have to have filed already. This may be a reason for you to file early because the total benefit paid to you, your spouse, and your children is often much more than your Full Retirement Age benefit.
Again, you will want to run the numbers on your situation to make sure this makes sense for you.
I talk to a lot of people about their retirement and Social Security. Unfortunately, many people that are planning to start benefits at 62 don’t do it for the right reasons. Social Security can be a huge boost to your retirement plan especially if you know how to make it work best for you.