Reasons to File Early for Social Security

not everyone should wait to file for

Social Security there are scenarios

where it makes perfect sense to file at

the earliest age possible so stick

around and I'll tell you what they are a


lot of the content that you find online

will make the case that filing early for

Social Security benefits is always a bad

idea they'll say things like you should

always wait until your full retirement

age or later to file for maximum amount

of benefits and while it's true you can

make a good case for filing later for

Social Security benefits for

maximization of income in most cases

that doesn't apply to every situation in

fact there are five specific

circumstances where I think filing early

makes the most sense and so here they

are reason number one you need the

income there's not a lot to think about

here if you've left your job and planned

to retire and need this income you just

need to go file you know a lot of people

leave work long before they actually

want to leave in fact the Employee

Benefit Research Institute did a study

in 2016 and found that among those

retiring 46% were retiring before they

wanted to they were leaving work earlier

than they'd ever planned to so when they

dug in to find out what's the reason

behind this it showed that 55 percent of

those individuals were leaving because

of a health concern or disability and

then 24 percent were leaving because the

company that they were at was either

downsizing or going away completely and

then 17% of those individuals were

leaving work to go home to care for a

spouse or some other family member so

before we move on I want to stop and

talk just for a second about the 55% of

individuals who have left work because

of a health issue or disability before

you go and file for Social Security


you need to thoroughly investigate

whether or not you qualify for Social

Security disability and here's why

assuming you're for retirement age is

say 67 if you file for those retirement

benefits at 62 you'll receive around 70%

of your full retirement age benefit

amount if you file for disability and

our award of those benefits the amount

that you would receive would be 100% of

your full retirement age benefit even at

62 so it can make a big difference for

you to make sure if you're leaving work

because of a disability because of a

health issue that you don't qualify for

Social Security disability so reason

number two you are single and have

health issues so if you're single and

have health issues you may just want to

use a real simple break-even analysis

now this is the only time where I really

recommend using this because it just

doesn't make a lot of sense in other

cases the chart looks something like

this it pulls up the various filing ages

and shows at which point your cumulative

benefits intersect so for example if

you're trying to compare filing at 62

versus 67 it tells you that you need to

live longer than age 78 for filing at 67

to make sense over filing at age 62 and

then you can go on through the ages and

you can run all sorts of age

combinations in these but if you're

single and have those health issues this

is probably where it makes the most

sense because you're not worried about

increasing survivor benefits you're not

worried about the host of other factors

that married individuals have to worry


and now reason number three and that is

spousal issues now I want to take

spousal issues and break these up into

two separate sub categories if you will

and the first is if your spouse is the

higher earner and has health concerns if

your spouse had higher earnings than you

that means that their Social Security

benefit is going to be higher than yours

and if they're in poor health and have a

shortened life expectancy

can see that means that most likely that

higher benefit they are receiving is

going to eventually become your benefit

through these survivors benefit so if

that's the case there's not a lot of

reason to delay your benefit four years

down the road just so you can get a

higher benefit for the rest of your life

because you'll most likely start getting

that survivors benefit down the road

the second spousal issue is if your

spouse is the lower earner and older

than you so if your spouse is older than

you and their own benefit is not as high

as the amount that can receive as a

spousal benefit it could make sense to

file and open up your work record to pay

a spousal benefit to them when you

compare the total amount of cumulative

benefits that you could both receive it

may make more sense to do it this way

and reason number four is you have a

survivors benefit while this strategy is

highly dependent on the math it could

make sense to file for your survivors

benefit as early as age 60 and then

switch to your own benefit down the road

up until age 70 let's walk through an

example and see how this would work so

let's make the assumption that your own

Social Security benefit at full

retirement age is 1,500 and your

survivors benefit that you're eligible

for is seventeen hundred and fifty

dollars now if you file early you know

there will be some reductions that come

into play so your own benefit would be

one thousand and fifty dollars and the

survivors benefit would be one thousand

three hundred and ninety-four dollars so

here's the way this switching strategy

would play out you would file for

survivors benefit at age 62 and remember

you can't file for that benefit as early

as age 60 or even 50 if you're disabled

but to keep everything the same I want

to use age 62 here so file for survivors

benefit at age 62 start receiving

thirteen hundred and ninety four dollars

and then at age seventy you'd switch

back to your own benefit and because

it's increased every year between age 62

and 70 now that benefit would be

eighteen hundred and sixty dollars and

that's not including in

cost-of-living adjustments that would

happen and now reason number five if you

have minor or disabled children at home

if you have children or eligible

grandchildren or even a spouse providing

care for these children at home they may

be eligible for a benefit but just know

you will have to file first though

because there's a rule that states that

before benefits can be paid to anyone

off of your work record you have to be

receiving benefits when combined with

your benefits the benefits to children

and your eligible spouse can be up to a

hundred and eighty percent of your full

retirement age benefit so if you have

children at home that meet the criteria

for eligibility there's an obvious

reason to consider filing early so

there's the quick five reasons why I

think it makes sense to file for Social

Security as early as possible so let's

go back and review these one more time

first if you need the income second if

you're single and in poor health just

use a break-even analysis if you have

spousal issues so if your spouse is the

higher earner and in poor health or if

your spouse is the lower earner but

older than you if you have a survivors

benefit you can use the switching

strategies and then if you have minor or

disabled children at home that could

open up up to one hundred and eighty

percent of your for retirement age

benefit to be paid out now I have to

make a side note here before we leave

there's a video that I did recently

called three stupid reasons to file for

Social Security at 862 it has some

amusing comments if you want to go out

and read those and maybe even add your

own to that but I don't think that

filing at 62 is always right or filing

it later ages such as full retirement

age or even 70 it's always right I think

it's highly dependent on your individual

circumstances but listen do yourself a

favor get informed about Social Security

don't just take someone's word for it

and whatever you do don't just take the

Social Security Administration's word

for it check out my channel and all the

other great resources that are out there

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