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Other things to consider when you retire

   Source:  http://www.ssa.gov/retire2/otherthings.htm

What is the best time to start your benefits?
We're not recommending that your take your benefits at age 62, at your full retirement age, at age 70 or at any age in between. That's a decision you have to make personally, based on your own circumstances. But here are some things you may want to consider when you make that decision:

  • Do you come from a long-lived family?
    How long do you expect to live? If your parents and grandparents all lived into their 80s or 90s and you have every reason to believe you will, too, you may want to delay starting your benefits until full retirement age or later.

    You may need the extra money more in later years, particularly if you outlive other pensions or annuities that have limits on how long they are paid.

  • Are you still working?
    If you plan to continue working, there are limits on how much you can earn each year between age 62 and full retirement age and still get all your benefits.

    Depending on the amount of your benefit and the amount of your earnings for the year, you may have to give up some of your benefits. If your earnings will be high, waiting until full retirement age to start your benefits may be a better choice. Once you reach full retirement age, there is no longer any limit on how much you can earn.

  • How is your health?
    If you are not in good health, you may want to start your benefits earlier.

    Reminder: If you stop working, not only will you lose your paycheck, but you may also lose valuable health insurance provided by your employer.  Although there are exceptions, most people will not be covered by Medicare until they reach age 65.

  • Do you have other income to support you if you decide to delay taking your benefits?
    If you don't need your benefits immediately, you may want to wait beyond full retirement age and take advantage of the delayed retirement credits.

    If you're receiving early retirement from your employer, keep in mind that some company pensions include a Social Security-equivalent supplement that stops automatically at age 62. The supplement stops because they assume you will apply for your retirement benefits at that age.

  • Will other family members qualify for benefits with you on your record?
    If your spouse or minor or disabled children will qualify for benefits with you, the value of their benefits, added to your own, may extend your break-even points. This may make taking your benefits sooner more advantageous.

Accidents or unexpected changes in your circumstances can't be ruled out, of course, so your final decision may be based on your "best guess" about your future. Our representatives can help you explore your options as you near retirement age, so give us a call at our toll-free telephone number (1-800-772-1213) (TTY 1-800-325-0778) or visit your local Social Security office.

And remember, Medicare usually does not start until you reach age 65. Even if you delay starting your benefits, be sure to contact Social Security about 3 months before you turn age 65 to check about applying for Medicare.



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