One of the most common questions we receive revolves around Social Security, usually with the focus being on “when” you should take it.

Deciding when to claim Social Security can greatly affect the amount of benefit you receive in retirement. While there’s no universal “perfect age” for everyone to start, your choice should reflect your individual circumstances.

So, why does Social Security exist? It was designed to provide retirement income for American workers, and operates on a contribution system. You contribute a portion of your income during your working years, earning credits toward eligibility. The full retirement age is currently between 66 and 67, depending on your birth year. You can claim benefits earlier or later, but this affects the amount you receive.

To simplify, claiming before full retirement age results in reduced monthly payments, while delaying increases your benefit.

However, the “right” time to claim depends on your unique situation. Factors like health, work plans, spouse’s benefits, and other retirement savings play a role.

For example claiming at 62, the earliest age, results in reduced benefits, but it may be necessary if you can’t work or have health concerns. Waiting until 67, considered full retirement age for many, offers benefits like higher payments and flexibility to continue working without reducing benefits. Delaying until 70 maximizes your benefit, ideal if you’re in good health and expect a longer life.

Also consider that deciding when to retire and when to claim Social Security are separate choices, each influenced by various factors.

Again, each plan for Social Security should be case by case.  This is where experience can help. Consulting a financial advisor can help you weigh your options and understand the implications for your unique financial situation.


Securities offered through LPL Financial, member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through Private Advisor Group, a registered investment advisor. Private Advisor Group and Ocean City Financial Group, LLC are separate entities from LPL Financial.