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Navigating Social Security Benefits For Special Needs Children

Freedom of Knowledge > Parenting > Navigating Social Security Benefits For Special Needs Children

As you approach retirement age, one of the most important decisions you’ll face is when to start collecting Social Security retirement benefits. While you can choose to start receiving your benefits as early as age 62, delaying can result in a higher payout.

The Best Age to Begin Collecting Social Security Retirement Benefits

The graph above shows the difference in monthly benefits received by starting at age 62, 67, or 70. While starting at 62 may seem like a good idea to start getting benefits as soon as possible, delaying until 70 can result in up to a 32% increase in monthly benefits.

Delaying your benefits beyond your full retirement age, which is currently 66 to 67 depending on your birth year, can result in an 8% increase in benefits for every year you wait up until age 70. So, if your full retirement age is 66 and you delay until age 70, you’ll receive a 32% increase in your monthly benefits.

Why Delaying Social Security Benefits May Be Beneficial

While delaying Social Security benefits means waiting to collect benefits, the long-term financial benefits can be significant. Not only will your monthly benefit increase, but delaying benefits can help avoid income taxes on your Social Security income.

If your income exceeds a certain amount, you’ll have to pay taxes on up to 85% of your Social Security income. During retirement, it’s important to minimize your taxable income to avoid paying more in taxes than necessary. Delaying Social Security benefits can help reduce your taxable income and allow you to keep more of your hard-earned money.

When Collecting Benefits Early May Be Necessary

While delaying Social Security benefits can be beneficial, there are cases where collecting benefits early may be necessary. If you’re facing financial hardship or cannot continue to work due to health reasons, collecting benefits as soon as possible may be the best option.

However, before making the decision to collect benefits early, it’s important to consider the long-term financial impact. Collecting benefits early means a permanent reduction in your monthly benefits for the rest of your life, potentially leaving you with less income during retirement.

The Bottom Line

When it comes to Social Security retirement benefits, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. The decision of when to start collecting benefits depends on your individual financial situation and goals.

While delaying benefits can result in higher monthly payments, there may be cases where collecting benefits early is necessary. It’s important to fully understand the benefits and drawbacks of each option before making a decision.


Q: Can I change my benefits start date once I’ve started receiving them?

A: Yes, you can change your benefits start date after you’ve started receiving them. However, you’ll have to pay back any benefits you’ve already received.

Q: Can I receive Social Security retirement benefits if I’m still working?

A: Yes, but your benefits may be reduced based on your earned income. If you earn over a certain amount, your benefits may be reduced or withheld entirely.

Q: Can I receive benefits from Social Security and another retirement plan at the same time?

A: Yes, you can receive benefits from Social Security and another retirement plan, such as a 401(k), at the same time. However, your benefits may be subject to income taxes.

Q: Will my spouse receive benefits based on my Social Security earnings?

A: Yes, your spouse may be eligible to receive benefits based on your Social Security earnings, even if they have no earnings history of their own. The amount of benefits they receive will be based on your earnings history and their age at the time they start collecting benefits.

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