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Deciding When to Begin Social Security Benefits

Retirement looks different for everyone, so most decisions surrounding your retirement plan are made according to your unique retirement picture.

Making the choice to turn on your income through Social Security is a big choice with lots of factors that can impact your yearly Social Security income. Below are a few considerations to take into account when deciding the right time to activate your Social Security benefits.

Full Retirement Age and Continued Employment

With a full retirement age ranging from 66 to 67 depending on your birth year, only a certain amount of income can be made before your Social Security benefits are reduced if payments are activated before that golden birthday. For 2024, the income ceiling is $22,320.

Delaying your Social Security benefits may be advantageous if you plan to continue working and will be making more than the limit.

Your Current Health

Benefits can be delayed until the age of 70 and will have grown substantially from what they would have been in your early 60s. If the expectation is that you will live well into your 80s, delaying benefits until 70 might make the most sense. But if your health is poor, it may be more advantageous to begin your benefits as soon as you can.

There is no way of knowing what the future will hold, but your current health as a retiree considering activating your hard-earned Social Security benefits is an important decision-making factor.

Tax-Deferred Accounts

Social Security benefits are no longer tax-free across the board as they were prior to the 1980s.

For retirees with substantial amounts in their tax-deferred accounts, it might be advantageous to draw income from these accounts while Social Security benefits increase due to a postponed activation.

Decreasing tax-deferred accounts first can also lead to lower Required Minimum Distributions down the line and in-turn, a reduced tax-bill.

Spousal Benefits

Married individuals often have different personal-income levels throughout their lives. Spouses who qualify for less than 50% of their partner’s monthly benefit are entitled to earn a full 50% of their partner’s benefit on a monthly basis. This may make postponing Social Security more advantageous as it will increase both individual’s monthly take-home.

If both partners work high-paying jobs and will have substantial benefits, waiting to turn on benefits may seem less necessary depending on their yearly expenses and lifestyle.

When a spouse passes away, the surviving spouse has the choice to maintain their own benefits or claim their spouse’s. They will no longer have access to two monthly Social Security checks, but they can opt to keep whichever is higher.

Consulting a Professional

A decision as potentially impactful as turning on Social Security can be less daunting when discussed with an experienced financial professional who has walked countless retirees through these same decisions.

To schedule a complimentary financial review with Moore’s Wealth Management, click here or call our office at 770-535-5000, where a staff-member is awaiting your call Monday through Friday, 9AM to 5PM.







This material is provided as a courtesy and for educational purposes only.  Please consult your investment professional, legal or tax advisor for specific information pertaining to your situation. 

All information contained herein is derived from sources deemed to be reliable but cannot be guaranteed.  All views/opinions expressed in this newsletter are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views/opinions held by Advisory Services Network, LLC.

This article may contain links to articles or other information that may be on a third-party website. Advisory Services Network, LLC is not responsible for and does not control, adopt, or endorse any content contained on any third-party website.

Advisory Services Network, LLC does not provide tax advice.  The tax information contained herein is general and is not exhaustive by nature.  Federal and state laws are complex and constantly changing.  You should always consult your own legal or tax professional for information concerning your individual situation.

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