The recovering economy and recent news regarding the “fiscal cliff” have middle-aged workers worried. Baby Boomers are quickly reaching retirement age at a time when the future of Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare is uncertain, and for many workers, these programs can mean the difference between thriving and barely surviving throughout their retirement years.
One question that Social Security expert Larry Kotlikoff often receives is, “When should I begin taking advantage of Social Security benefits?”.
Kotlikoff recently gave advice to a 61-year-old woman who earns approximately $1,500 every month and recommended that she wait until full retirement age to take advantage of benefits. He claimed that she could opt to accept benefits early, but that this would essentially hurt her in the long run because of the decreased payout. Kotlikoff says that if she waits “until age 70 to start collecting [her] retirement benefit, it will be up to 76 percent higher than the amount [she’ll] get taking them at age 62.”
Age 70 may seem late for many Baby Boomers who are expecting to retire closer to age 60, however, Kotlikoff makes a good point. Isn’t it better to wait a few more years in order to fully take advantage of the benefits we have earned? This plan may not make sense for all Baby Boomers, but most older workers can probably benefit from following Kotlikoff’s advice.
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Resource: PBS News