Social Security – You don’t have to claim when you retire

You don’t have to claim when you retire.

Retiring and claiming are two different things. So if you have enough savings when you retire, you have two options.

– Start collecting right away. That’s what most people do.

– Delay and, while you wait, use a portion of your savings to live on. This option will draw down your savings more quickly, but increase the inflation-proof Social Security benefit you’ll get each month for the rest of your life.

Should you delay or claim right away?

No one wants to draw down all their savings. Savings are valuable as a reserve, can be invested in high-yielding assets, or left as an inheritance. But drawing an income out of your savings, over an extended period of time in retirement, can be tricky. So it could make sense to use some of your assets to live on and delay claiming Social Security.

– If you need to assure you and your spouse a higher basic income for the rest of you lives.

– If you will still have enough savings for “rainy day” emergencies.

© 2009, by Trustees of Boston College, Center for Retirement Research


Does not represent the Social Security Administration.