When should you start your Social Security benefit, age 62, your full retirement age, age 70 or somewhere in between. Frankly, I don’t know. But I do know:
- Basing your decision on some break even time frame is irrelevant- the total amount you collect in benefits during your life is meaningless- the value is monthly income
- If you delay taking SS and instead use other assets to live on before SS, there is an opportunity cost – in other words, the money you used instead of SS likely would have grown in value – think 6% to 8% per year, maybe more
- If you start SS but don’t need the benefit income to live on, you could invest it thereby accumulating more assets that could generate an additional income stream when you do need the money
- If Social Security is an important part of retirement income, delaying as long as you can will increase your benefit – up to age 70 – and will automatically adjust for inflation.
- Don’t base your decision on the notion that Social Security will not be there for you if you delay. It will be there for you and everyone else.