Monday, September 29, 2008

Social Security - Great Tips on When to Start Collecting

You have choices when it comes to collecting Social Security Benefits whether you're close to retirement or not. I recently read a great article from the Los Angeles Times and wanted to share some tips with you.

There are three different times in your life when you can begin to collect Social Security - age 62, 66 or 70. What age you pick can greatly influence the amount of Social Security you receive but there are other factors that can contribute to your decision as well.

The age your grandparents lived to and the age of your parents is one major contributing factor. Bruce Schobel, a Social Security expert, states that if your parents are living well into their 80's and 90's, choosing to wait until age 70 would be the better choice because you'll get more money each month - approximately 32% more than if you started collecting at age 62.

Starting your benefits at age 62 would come into play if you've had a major illness or your parents died at a younger age.

There are other factors that can influence your decision including whether you're single or married - married couples should claim benefits on the spouse who made the most money during their working years. Postponing your benefits can also increase the amount of your spouse's survivor benefits if the higher-earning spouse dies first.

Of course, the bottom line is that over a third of Social Security recipients claim their benefits at age 62 simply because they need the money - it is their primary source of income.

The Los Angeles Times article was written by Kathy M. Kristof of the Personal Finance, Business department. I give full credit for the contents of this article to her.

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