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Investment Services, Financial Planning

When to Start Collecting Social Security

Although you can begin drawing Social Security at age 62, it can pay off to wait until later. There are a number of factors you should consider before drawing, and knowing the right age to start drawing for your situation can help you to get the most out of your Social Security.

Deciding to draw Social Security is an important decision and one that can’t be reversed. Some people may have experienced a loss in their retirement plan and decide to continue working. If this is your case, you will have to postpone collecting Social Security or be penalized if you earn over the annual earnings limit threshold.

Social Security can be collected anywhere from 62 to 70 years of age. For those who wait longer, they are rewarded with a higher monthly amount. The Social Security Administration takes into account how much an individual has earned during their working lifetime and how old they are when they start getting payments, and that is compared to the person’s normal retirement age (NRA), which depends on the year they were born.

Year Born
Normal Retirement Age

1937 or earlier

65

1938

65 and 2 months

1939

65 and 4 months

1940

65 and 6 months

1941

65 and 8 months

1942

65 and 10 months

1943-1954

66

1955

66 and 2 months

1956

66 and 4 months

1957

66 and 6 months

1958

66 and 8 months

1959

66 and 10 months

1960 or later

67


Choosing to collect Social Security before the NRA means there may be a reduction in the monthly payment of up to 30%. For anyone who decides to wait to collect Social Security until after the NRA, the payment increases each year up to 70 years old.

When’s the Best Time to Retire?

So when should you retire based on Social Security? It comes down to your own personal financial situation and your anticipated life expectancy. For those who have strong pensions or who have saved a considerable amount in their 401(k) or other retirement plans, they may want to delay retiring.

Delaying payments means you get more money monthly. This can benefit someone who has a history of longevity in their family and who believes they will live longer than 82. For someone who is unlikely to live past 80, it may make sense to start drawing Social Security when they turn 62, to get the most money over a longer period of time.

Whether you decide to retire earlier or later, according to the Social Security Administration, approximately 33% of a retirees’ income comes from Social Security payments. Keep this in mind when designing a retirement that works for you. It would be difficult at best to retire with only Social Security and it wasn’t created to be the only form of retirement. Considering other retirement savings strategies before deciding to retire can mean a better, more secure retirement.


Contact our Financial Advisors to help you determine the best time to start collecting Social Security. They can work with you to develop up a retirement plan customized for your finances.

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The financial advisors of Orange County's Retirement & Investment Services are registered with and offer securities and advisory services through LPL Financial (LPL), a registered investment advisor and broker/dealer (member FINRA/ SIPC). Insurance products are offered through LPL or its licensed affiliates. Orange County's Credit Union and Orange County's Retirement & Investment Services are not registered as a broker-dealer or investment advisor. Registered representatives of LPL offer products and services using Orange County's Retirement & Investment Services, and may also be employees of Orange County's Credit Union. These products and services are being offered through LPL or its affiliates, which are separate entities from, and not affiliates of, Orange County's Credit Union or Orange County's Retirement & Investment Services. Securities and insurance offered through LPL or its affiliates are:

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