At Social Security - At Social Security we're often asked...

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At Social Security, we're often asked, “What is the best age to start receiving retirement benefits?” The answer is that there is no one “best age” for everyone and, ultimately, it is your choice. You should make an informed decision about when to apply for benefits based on your individual and family circumstances. We hope the following information will help you understand how Social Security can fit into your retirement decision. Contents Your decision is a personal one Monthly payments differ substantially based on when you start receiving benefits Retirement may be longer than you think Your decision could affect your family You can keep working Don't forget Medicare Additional resources Your decision is a personal one Would it be better for you to begin receiving benefits early with a smaller monthly amount or wait for a larger monthly payment later that you may not receive as long? The answer is highly personal and depends on a number of factors, such as your current cash needs, your health and family longevity, whether you plan to work in retirement, whether you have other retirement income sources, your anticipated future financial needs and obligations, and, of course, the amount of your future Social Security benefit. We hope you will weigh all the facts carefully and consider your own circumstances before making the important decision about when to begin receiving Social Security benefits. [ Top ] Monthly payments differ substantially based on when you start receiving benefits If you live to the average life expectancy for someone your age, you will receive about the same amount in lifetime benefits no matter whether you choose to start receiving benefits at age 62, full retirement age, age 70 or any age in between. However, monthly benefit amounts can differ substantially based on your retirement age. Basically, you can get lower monthly payments for a longer period of time or higher monthly payments over a shorter period of time. The amount you
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