There are lots of variables to consider when you are trying to determine when to apply for social security. As most people know, you can begin receiving benefits at the age of 62. If you do so, your benefit will be lower than if you waited until the age of 66 or 67, which depending on your birth date, is the time when you can receive the full benefit.
- How long are you going to live? If you have health issues or a family history of health problems, you may want to begin receiving payments at the earliest possible date.
- Do you need the money? Waiting isn’t always an option.
- Are you still working? For every $2 you make over the limit of $14,160, the government keeps back $1 of your benefit. Note however, that this amount is added back to your benefit when you reach full retirement age. Remember, also that your taxes may be higher due to the increased income.
- Are you married? One good option is to have the spouse with the lowest benefit begin taking it at age 62. Then the other one would begin at normal retirement age or even wait until age 70 when the amount received would be even greater.
The Social Security administration has numerous calculators to help you in making a decision. You can find these and other helpful information here: http://www.ssa.gov/retire2/index.htm