Andrew Rosen, Contributor
Sept. 1, 2022
The right time to take Social Security is different for everyone, and it varies depending on your financial plan and needs. There are a few questions you can ask yourself to determine when might be the best time to take Social Security in your situation.
Will You Continue To Work?
The first question to ask yourself before you contemplate taking Social Security is if you’ll continue to work. If you’ve reached Social Security age but are continuing to work, it’s likely in your best interest to not take Social Security yet. Each year that you wait, you’ll get an extra 8% of growth, and there can be adverse tax implications if you take SS while you have other income coming in.
Do You Need The Money From Social Security?
How soon will you need to use money from Social Security? If you can hold off taking SS while utilizing your other investments, it may be worthwhile to let that continue to grow. If not, then you’ll need to dip into your Social Security sooner. Working with a financial advisor and having a solid financial plan can help you determine the answer to this question.
Do You Have Multiple Investments?
If you’ve got multiple investments and good bit saved, you have more options regarding when you can take your Social Security. If you’re skimping by on just a little, holding off on taking your SS may put you in a position where you use up your investments too fast, which wouldn’t be a good situation financially.
Where Are Your Investments Located?
Are our investments in tax-advantaged accounts? Are they easily accessible? The answers to these questions play into how and when you’ll want to take your Social Security.
What’s Your Risk Tolerance?
When it comes to investing, what’s your risk tolerance? Your personal tolerance to risk in investing is another factor that determines when you should take Social Security.
If You’re Married, Is There An Age Difference?
If you’re married, is there a large age gap between you and your spouse? If you die, your spouse will get either your benefit or theirs – whichever Social Security benefit is higher. There are additional complications that come into play if there is a large age gap – who is continuing to work, etc.
What’s Your Health Like?
Understanding your health situation, and ultimately your potential life expectancy, are important factors when determining the timeline for your Social Security. If you’re in good health and have a long life expectancy, you may want to delay taking Social Security.
How Much Social Security Will Your Spouse Receive?
The estimated amount of Social Security that your spouse may receive also factors into when you should take Social Security and how you schedule your draw-down.
What Will Your Retirement Expenses Look Like?
Will you spend more or less in retirement ? Are you planning to travel up front and then slow down as you age? These questions about how you structure you retirement will help you determine if you should take you Social Security as soon as possible, or delay it a bit.
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