Ask Terry Questions Social Security retirement age

Social Security retirement age

By Terry Savage on January 17, 2015 |

I heard you today on WGN talking about the best age to claim Social Security. I didn’t get the whole conversation. My husband is 61 and I am 48. He believes that claiming at 62 is more beneficial then waiting until 66. Is there a formula or calculator to help us decide? Thanks!

Terry Says:  It will NEVER be a good idea to claim Social Security benefits before full retirement age — unless you think you won’t live to see that age!  (And there are a few unique strategies for spouses, which might make this an interesting choice.)  But basically, claiming before full retirement age makes a huge dent in future benefits — and it dings your benefits if you have other earnings from work.  In fact, taking benefits early costs you roughly 8% a year in your basic benefit as opposed to waiting.

There is a wonderful and easy to use calculator at T. Rowe Price that will walk you through not only figuring out when to take your own benefit — but how to coordinate with your spouse for various goals, which may range from getting maximum income while both are alive to maximum income for a surviving spouse if one should die well in advance of the other.  You get to choose your goals, and compare strategies and overall likely benefits.  Try it.  Here’s the link:

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