When to draw Social Security is a matter of health and economics coupled with whether you are ready to quit or cut back on your gainful employment. Solving these three issues will simplify the decision of when to start drawing your checks.
If you retired early because your financial house was already strong enough to support you into your twilight years, you should begin to draw Social Security as soon as you are eligible. The extra amount that you will gain by drawing it later will require decades to offset what you will draw in the first 3 or 4 years. Bank this money into a retirement account if you don’t need it. You will have until you are 70 to begin drawing it out. During that time, it will reduce your taxable income and draw interest.
Should you be retiring at the same time as beginning to draw your Social Security, your health becomes an issue to be addressed. Will waiting 3 or more years still leave you enough time to enjoy your retirement years before death or the nursing home? Taking the early draw now can improve the quality of your life immediately. It may also give you the financial means to take a trip or two that you’ve wanted to take before your health deteriorates enough to eliminated the chance.
If your financial picture is not to pretty, you may need to wait until you qualify for full benefits before drawing your Social Security. Beginning to draw early limits the amount of earned income you can have. After you reach the age of full benefits, this restriction is lifted. You can draw your pension and still work full time. This has helped a lot of people to erase excess debt before they officially retire. It can also give you a chance to develop a nest egg to carry you through the lesser income of full retirement.
Many people enjoy their job. If you have reached 65 or 66 or whatever age you become eligible for full benefits from Social Security, you may want to consider delaying drawing a check for a few more years if your health is good. Your government check will increase up until you pass 70. If your company pension will continue growing also, this tandem growth may make the difference between tight retirement in your mid-sixties and easy retirement in your early 70’s.