I’m a Retirement Planner: 4 Best Reasons to Take Social Security Early

By Elena Cordelia

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4 Best Reasons to Take Social Security Early

Financial planners often suggest waiting as long as possible to take Social Security benefits to get the maximum monthly amount. However, there are times when taking Social Security earlier can be beneficial. Let’s explore these situations and understand why claiming early might be a smart move.

Financial Need

One of the main reasons to take Social Security early is financial need. If you don’t have enough saved or invested, you might need the money sooner.

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Raman Singh, a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and owner of Singh PWM, says that sometimes it’s necessary to start Social Security benefits early to reduce the need to withdraw from other investments. This way, retirees have enough to live on without depleting their savings too quickly.

Spousal Benefits

Another reason to consider taking Social Security early is if you can collect higher spousal benefits. If one spouse has significantly higher benefits, it might make sense for the other to start collecting early while the higher-earning spouse delays their benefits for a bigger payout later. This can be especially useful if one spouse has a shorter expected lifespan due to illness.

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Leaving a Legacy

Some people want to leave money behind for their children or grandchildren. Taking Social Security early can help reduce the need to withdraw from your investment portfolio, allowing you to save more money to leave as a legacy. This is a common goal among baby boomers who prioritize leaving something for their heirs.

Health Concerns

Your health is another critical factor. If you have serious health issues and don’t expect to live long, taking Social Security early makes sense. Singh points out that if you’re diagnosed with a terminal illness or have a condition like dementia, starting benefits sooner can provide necessary financial support during a challenging time.

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Income’s Effect on Benefits

If you plan to continue working after starting Social Security, be aware of the income limits. Earning too much can reduce your Social Security benefits, so it’s essential to understand these rules before deciding.

Divorce Benefits

Don’t overlook benefits you might be entitled to from an ex-spouse. If you’re 62 or older and were married for at least 10 years, you might be eligible to receive between one-third to one-half of your ex-spouse’s Social Security benefits.

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Choosing the Right Financial Planner

Deciding when to take Social Security is a big decision, and getting professional advice can help. Raman Singh recommends finding a flat fee planner who charges by the hour. This way, you avoid long-term commitments and only pay for the time you need.

Taking Social Security early isn’t a decision to take lightly, as it’s usually irreversible. However, for those with financial need, potential spousal benefits, health concerns, or a desire to leave a legacy, it might be the right choice. Consulting with a financial planner can help you make the best decision for your unique situation.

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Disclaimer- We are committed to fair and transparent journalism. Our Journalists verify all details before publishing any news. For any issues with our content, please contact us via email. 

Elena Cordelia

Elena is a seasoned tax consultant with a decade of expertise in income tax management. Graduating with top honors in Finance, she embarked on a career journey focused on simplifying tax complexities. Elena's insightful articles on thecsc.org provide practical guidance to taxpayers.

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