Myths And Facts About Delaying Your Social Security Benefit

Written by , April 12, 2017

Myths And Facts About Delaying Your Social Security Benefits

Myths And Facts About Delaying Your Social Security Benefits

The U.S. Social Security Retirement Benefits program remains one of the most important ways that retirees in the United States will be able to pay for their living expenses later in life. Recent research has shown that most Americans have not been successful on building their own retirement nest eggs.

Less than half of US households have any retirement savings at all, and even the median nest egg size for individuals close to retirement (age 55 to 64) is only about $100,000. But Social Security can also be confusing to many. Part of the confusion arises from the fact that there are so many myths surrounding the program.

Before I go through the myths and facts about collecting your social security benefits be sure to create an online account with the Social Security Administration (SSA). You can create an account with the SSA at To create an account you’ll need an email address, your social security number, and a U.S. mailing address. Once you’ve created your account you can review: estimates of your retirement, disability, and survivors benefits; your earnings record; and the estimated Social Security and Medicare taxes you’ve paid.

Now let’s take a look at some of the most common areas of misunderstanding.

  • Myth: It’s Always Best to Wait Until Your Full Retirement Age Before Taking Benefits. One of the most common myths about the Social Security program is that it’s always best to wait as long as possible before starting your benefits. It’s true that the longer you wait before starting to receive benefits, the larger your monthly benefits check will be for the rest of your life.
  • Fact: The Timing of Benefits is a Highly Individualized Decision. In fact, the best choice for when to begin receiving your Social Security retirement benefits depends a great deal on your overall financial situation. You may have the opportunity to delay benefits until age 70 if you have a sizable nest egg. But if your retirement savings are modest, you may need to begin taking Social Security early, if for no other reason than to have the financial security to remain in your home and make sure you have adequate health insurance.
  • Myth: You Need Your Own Work Record to Claim Social Security Retirement Benefits. It’s true that most individuals will become eligible to claim Social Security Retirement benefits by virtue of earning wages or salary for at least 10 years.
  • Fact: There is a Spousal Benefit Available Under the Social Security. However, even if you don’t have enough work experience to claim benefits on your own, you can still claim a spousal benefit that amounts to 50% of the Social Security retirement benefit your spouse receives. Note that your spouse must have elected to begin receiving their benefit in order for you to claim the benefit.
  • Myth: You Can’t Have a Job and Receive Social Security Benefits. This myth has begun to fade away, but many individuals still believe that you must stop working in order to receive Social Security retirement benefits
  • Fact: You Can Still Work During Retirement. The truth of the matter is having a job won’t impact your eligibility for Social Security, although the amount you earn can impact the extent to which your Social Security benefit checks are taxable.

    Make the best decision for yourself and your spouse with respect to your Social Security benefits by taking your own needs, circumstances and situation into consideration.

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