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Jenise
Level 2

Questions about beginning to collect at age 70

I'll be 70 in January 2022 and have several questions:

1. How early do I need to sign up to begin collecting? 

2. I've seen the age to begin collecting is 70 but have also seen 70.5. Which is correct?

3. Are there any benefits to delaying collecting?

4. Are there any downsides to delaying collecting?

 

2 Best answer

Accepted Solutions
JoeD_CPA_CFP
Employee Tax & Finance Expert

Questions about beginning to collect at age 70

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:

If you are not currently working, there is no increase in benefits beyond age 70. There is no advantage to delay claiming social security benefits after you attain age 70. Claiming your benefits at age 70 entitle you to receive the maximum benefit available based on your earnings history. When you're ready to claim, click this link: https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/forms/  or cal1-800-772-1213. 😊

 

1. How early do I need to sign up to begin collecting? since you're already 69.5, I would be looking into starting the process now in the event of Covid delays or another shutdown, typically you would begin the process a few months before you reach FRA or the age you choose to begin.

2. I've seen the age to begin collecting is 70 but have also seen 70.5. Which is correct? age 70

3. Are there any benefits to delaying collecting? not past age 70 in terms of the benefit you would receive if you're not working.

4. Are there any downsides to delaying collecting? not receiving the benefit may be considered a downside but you also would not be paying tax on the taxable portion of the benefit in the event your benefits were taxable based on your Income. To determine if your benefits may be taxable, click this link: https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/retirement/planner/taxes.html

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JoeD_CPA_CFP
Employee Tax & Finance Expert

Questions about beginning to collect at age 70

Jenise,

My answer does assume that you are not working anymore. It is possible but not probable that you could increase your benefits beyond age 70 by not filing for benefits and continuing to work and earning a high salary. Your benefits are calculated based on the high 35 years in your earnings history. So, if you can earn more in your 70's than prior years it could impact the calculation. However, you are not going to live forever so the amount of checks you will receive has to be compared to the benefit amount and when you start receiving the checks.

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9 Replies
ami2621
Returning Member

Questions about beginning to collect at age 70

You can take SS earlier than 70.  Most are eligible at 62 but I dont have the schedule based on BDay memorized. You can weigh the benefits of taking SS early or later by running some numbers on a spreadsheet. Some people look solely at the amounts of our SS payments but you really have to consider lifespan and how you want to spend your retirement years. Ive been running a lot of scenarios as we have a few different sources of retirement income. Our mission statement is live the hell out of it.  There are 2 parts to retirement Go GO years and Park Bench. Make it count! That said our best options are start taking SS and Pensions ASAP to spend less of our IRA in the 60 - 75 years. 

Jenise
Level 2

Questions about beginning to collect at age 70

I appreciate your response but I'm really looking for answers from either an Expert or a Champ, or gallery opinions that cite a link to answers on ssa.gov.

 

I hope this Ask The Expert event isn't going to devolve into a social media thread. I fear that Experts or Champs will bypass posted questions if they see that there have been responses. 

 

For anyone else reading my questions -

1. I found the answer. Four months.

https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/retirement/apply.html#:~:text=Apply%20four%20months%20before%20you,age%....

 

2. I found the answer. It depends on when you were born. I was born in 1952 so, for me, it's age 70.

https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/retirement/planner/1943.html

 

3. & 4. I haven't found answers and I'm particularly interested in knowing the pros/cons of delaying collecting after age 70. 

ami2621
Returning Member

Questions about beginning to collect at age 70

SSA. Gov answers many questions including your specific benefits. 

JoeD_CPA_CFP
Employee Tax & Finance Expert

Questions about beginning to collect at age 70

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:

If you are not currently working, there is no increase in benefits beyond age 70. There is no advantage to delay claiming social security benefits after you attain age 70. Claiming your benefits at age 70 entitle you to receive the maximum benefit available based on your earnings history. When you're ready to claim, click this link: https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/forms/  or cal1-800-772-1213. 😊

 

1. How early do I need to sign up to begin collecting? since you're already 69.5, I would be looking into starting the process now in the event of Covid delays or another shutdown, typically you would begin the process a few months before you reach FRA or the age you choose to begin.

2. I've seen the age to begin collecting is 70 but have also seen 70.5. Which is correct? age 70

3. Are there any benefits to delaying collecting? not past age 70 in terms of the benefit you would receive if you're not working.

4. Are there any downsides to delaying collecting? not receiving the benefit may be considered a downside but you also would not be paying tax on the taxable portion of the benefit in the event your benefits were taxable based on your Income. To determine if your benefits may be taxable, click this link: https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/retirement/planner/taxes.html

**Say "Thanks" by clicking the thumb icon in a post
**Mark the post that answers your question by clicking on "Mark as Best Answer"
Jenise
Level 2

Questions about beginning to collect at age 70

THANK YOU! Exactly what I was looking for. 

Jenise
Level 2

Questions about beginning to collect at age 70

Complete aware of that - as should be recognized by my posting links to ssa.gov. Again, really not looking for "chat." Looking for well-thought Expert or Champ responses which you may notice I received from JoeD_CPA_CFP. 

JoeD_CPA_CFP
Employee Tax & Finance Expert

Questions about beginning to collect at age 70

Jenise,

My answer does assume that you are not working anymore. It is possible but not probable that you could increase your benefits beyond age 70 by not filing for benefits and continuing to work and earning a high salary. Your benefits are calculated based on the high 35 years in your earnings history. So, if you can earn more in your 70's than prior years it could impact the calculation. However, you are not going to live forever so the amount of checks you will receive has to be compared to the benefit amount and when you start receiving the checks.

**Say "Thanks" by clicking the thumb icon in a post
**Mark the post that answers your question by clicking on "Mark as Best Answer"
Jenise
Level 2

Questions about beginning to collect at age 70

I appreciate the additional information. My circumstances are such that the last five and the next five years will be my highest earning years. I'm going to have to run a few scenarios. 

JoeD_CPA_CFP_Mint
Level 1
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