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Periodic Contributor

social security

i turn 70 on june 24, 2020 and don't know whether to start "SS" on june 1st since it pays a month later or start july 1st which is AFTER my 70th birthday. somebody must have asked this before but i can't find an anzwer anywhere. does it make a difference

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Just want to add that the Social Security Administration has closed all its offices to walk-in visitors until further notice. They are now serving people online and through telephone services. So, you'll need to fill out an online application. However, they are making exceptions for people that really really need to see an agent in person. You'll have to call your local social security office and tell them why you need to visit the office, and if they agree with you, they'll give you an appointment. This website, https://www.ssncentral.com lists all the offices by state and you can find search for your closest office with your zip code or city name. They should also have the phone number for your local office. 

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@StephenB538127 

 

Stephen, as no one else has answered yet I'll toss in my 2 bits. I'm sure I have researched this issue in the past but I don't recall the particulars [edit: as to whether SS is paid in arrears or in advance; actually I think it's in advance].

 

In any case, I suggest making your application some time prior to when you want benefits to begin as it will take time to process the application. You can likely call the toll free number for SS and discuss with them as to when you should start benefits. Put the onus on them (and then double check). Tell them you want to start your benefits at age 70 and have them tell you when they will begin. 

 

This page from the SS site may guide you some. It asks "are you wanting to start benefits within 4 months", so I think that's pretty much you. So you need to get on it.

 

See https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/applying3.html

 

That page then directs you how to proceed.

 

Good luck.

 

 

again, a disclaimer that I am just some joker on the internet, I am not an expert on Social Security.

 

 

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thanks for the reply......fyi......i have already applied and this "start date" issue of june 1st or july 1st is my only remaining question......sounds like i will have to call them but i have in the past and got different answers to the same question so not much confidence in what they advise.........but thanks again!

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@StephenB538127 

 

'morning.

 

I think you have cause for some concern on this (though very little). There's a little-documented rule on how the delayed retirement credits are applied. I discussed it in at least one thread in this forum.

 

The Social Security benefit lets you obtain delayed retirement credits (drc) by waiting to draw benefits beyond your FRA. In my case, my FRA is 66 (I'm now almost 68) and my benefit increases by 8% (not compounded) for each year delay until age 70.

 

Actually, the drc is calculated on a monthly basis so one could draw "late" at any point in those 4 years (66 through 70) and get a differing benefit.

 

There is a tricky rule though. If I wait until I'm exactly 70 then my benefit is exactly 1.32 times my "full" benefit (1.32 accounts for the 4 years of 8%; there's also likely COLAs as well). This is great. But if I take benefits at any other time then they apply the monthly increase based on number of months delay; but for the first year of drawing benefits the benefit is based on the number of months delay until the January of the year you start drawing. So in your case you'll be shy by 5 or 6 months drc (!). They make this up the next year and apply the full amount of month's credit. It's not clear to me if the cash that's missed out on for that first year is ever repaid. Maybe it is but I'm not certain.

 

I can't put my finger on the supporting information for this rule right at the moment [I did, see message below]. I will try to find the forum thread with the discussion. I know that a related SS page has been edited to clarify this point...they made the text BIG and BOLD to emphasize (although the point is so subtle probably no one really gets it)

So if you happened to draw benefits at 47 months instead of 48 months your initial benefit would be based on, say, 43 monhs. Then next January you would get the full juice up to 48 months. Those 7 months or so of missing cash? I don't know.

 

 

.

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@StephenB538127 

 

This is the thread with the discussion https://community.aarp.org/t5/Social-Security/Started-Social-Security/m-p/2172677

 

My first post there mentions:

 

"A rule applies to the delayed retirement credits (DRC), mentioned in bold on this page (https://www.ssa.gov/OACT/quickcalc/early_late.html). I have researched the origins of the rule in the CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) but don't have it handy. [see below, I found it]

 

The bold instruction says "If you retire before age 70, some of your delayed retirement credits will not be applied until the January after you start benefits.""

 

The link to the SSA document seems to still show the same info as from when this thread was active.

 

 

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thank you! thank you! thank you!.......to "fred the wizard"....the calculation tool is really cool.....we plugged in may 1st, june 1st, july 1st & aug.1st and the explanations all pointed to june 1st as being the optimal time to collect SS for my 70th birth date on june 24, 2020....... every month later than june 1st & i would lose an entire month of ss......even better .........now i don't need to call them to get an answer!

 

many thanks again for sharing this incredible "best kept secret" tool!

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Thanks. I have been researching on the same question, and got confused by 'experts' on the web pointing out a one month mistake could be costly. I too ran the retirement calculator, but given all I've read, remain a bit skeptical. So, I hope this works out as planned and look forward to hearing how everything went.

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