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Bronze Conversationalist

Put Off Claiming or Claim When You See the Need?

I put off claiming Social Security when I was laid off at 62. I looked for other work and had very decent possible jobs, but I was tired enough to be retired. I was tired of getting up to an alarm every morning. I was tired of the commute. I was tired of doing someone else's bidding for 9 or 10 hours of my waking day. When it came right down to it, I was ready. I determined that I could probably afford to leave the rat race and jumping through someone else's hoops.
I had a severence package that included my usual paychecks for X number of months, so I lived on that and the surplus it provided for a few months more. When it ran out, I finally applied for Social Security. The one thing I would do over would have been to put in for Social Security before that ran out.

Sure, the monthly wait to claim SS added a few dollars each month to the monthly amount I would collect back from my Social Security savings account I had paid into for 46 years, but I could have put a large chunk of my final severence checks into my emergency fund and could have had that much more of a cushion against future expenses. I would have opened my claim as soon as the severence ran out.

If you are no longer working, your time to claim benefits might be right now. If you are working, you can afford to wait, but once you are 66ish, you might want to claim, anyway, just to build up your own emergency fund or IRA or other.

Timing is always an individual decision.


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