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Are you thinking about taking your social security benefit earlier rather than later? Contrary to popular myth, receiving your social security benefits earlier will not reduce the overall amount of your benefit over time. Your monthly payment may be smaller than if you had waited, but the amount paid to you overtime will be the same. To see how the numbers work out for yourself, check out the Social Security table or Social Security detailed calculator. To further understand how your monthly benefit payout will differentiate depending on when you claim your benefits, talk to the estate planning attorneys at Michaelson & Associates.

Reasons to Take Your Social Security Benefits Early: Estate Planning Tips

It’s true that it’s not always optimal to take your social security benefit early. However, there are certain reasons why one might choose to take it early. If, for example, the potential for program insolvency is causing you anxiety, then it may make sense to start taking benefits earlier than your full retirement age. The additional anxiety and loss of sleep thinking about when to take your benefit can lead to health problems, and that’s the opposite of what we want to happen as you hit retirement age.   

Another reason it might be okay to take your social security benefit early is if you believe your life expectancy has changed. The longevity rate will keep increasing the more you age, but it does not prevent life-threatening diseases that may shorten your lifespan. If your health has declined and you don’t expect to live to your full statistical life expectancy, then it may be proper and appropriate to claim your benefit early. Claiming your benefit earlier can give you comfort financially, physically, and mentally, giving you the space to focus on your health. 

If you are a legally married woman in the US, and your significant other has been the primary wage income earner, you can make a rational case to start taking social security benefits early. Statistically, the wife will outlive the husband. It is possible for the spouse to share the wife’s early benefit as an income source. The question then becomes, if you take your benefit early, how long do you have to live on your social security benefits before receiving your deceased spouse’s increased benefit? The answer is difficult to generalize because it depends on your particular circumstance. There are three types of benefits in this married spouse category to keep in mind: spousal benefits, survivor benefits, and divorced spouse benefits. Each status has different qualifications, and it can be complicated to decipher the best benefit available to you without talking to an estate planning attorney. It is also crucial to check Social Security Administration benefits for spouses, something the elder law and estate planning lawyers at Michaelson & Associates can assist you with. Regardless, you want to talk with a trusted legal advisor to outline your best course of action when it comes to spousal benefit options. 

Deciding when to take your social security benefits involves many factors, all of which should be considered before making a decision. It’s important to strike a balance between the cost of living adjustments (COLA), current expenditures, and expected longevity. What’s most important is that you and your loved ones live with the best quality of life possible. If the attorneys at Michaelson & Associates can be of assistance, please call us at 702-731-2333 to set up a free first-time consultation.