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When Should I Claim My Social Security Benefits?

As people approach retirement, one of the biggest financial decisions that needs to be made is when to claim Social Security retirement benefits.


The basic questions are:

  • Should I choose to receive benefits at full retirement age (66 or 67)? 
  • Should I choose to receive a smaller monthly benefit before retirement age (as early as age 62)?
  • Should I wait past full retirement age to receive a larger monthly benefit (up to age 70)?


As important as this decision is, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. It’s a personal decision that must be made based on your unique circumstances. Of course, sometimes the answer is simple. You may have to claim Social Security benefits as early as possible if you need the income right away to meet your day-to-day living expenses. But if that’s not the case — if you have other sources of retirement income or want to continue working, for example — you’ll want to take the time to make an informed, well-reasoned decision about your Social Security benefits.


The timing of when you claim your Social Security benefits can significantly affect your overall retirement income. The timing of benefits can also affect your spouse because he or she may be entitled to receive spousal retirement benefits and survivor benefits based on the amount you receive.

There’s a lot to consider as you make this decision. Here are some of the factors:

  • Your full retirement age (varies depending on date of birth).
  • The amount of benefit and the effect of taking benefits earlier or later.
  • How many years you expect to spend in retirement, based on life expectancy.
  • Whether you plan to continue working.
  • What your other retirement income sources are.
  • The impact of taking social security will have on your tax situation.
  • How the decision will affect your spouse and the benefits he or she can receive.


We help people all the time with this very important planning component, when and how to begin social security retirement income benefits. Give us a call, we are happy to answer any questions you may have.


Written by: Jay Weyers, CFP®


Weyers McKeever Financial Partners

Your Vision · Our Team





This information does not replace information provided to you by the Social Security Administration.

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