You know you're entitled to a retirement benefit from Social Security, but there seem to be a lot of rules regarding when you can actually collect it. To understand some of those rules, let’s assume we’re talking about an individual at Full Retirement Age of 66 with a Primary Insurance Amount of $2,500 per month.
With concern about the Social Security trust fund's solvency and speculation rampant that the system is bankrupt (which it actually isn't), many people wonder whether potential future changes will be directed at their retirement benefits.
We've all been there before, a perfectly pleasant and enjoyable evening at a cocktail party is progressing swimmingly. The kids are tucked in, the dishes are cleaned and put away, and the conversation is engaging. Enter wise guy, stage left. We all know who he is; the friend/relative/neighbor/co-worker who knows it all.
I was speaking with everyone's favorite skeptic, Billy Know-It-All, recently (you know, the one who claims that Social Security is bankrupt?), and he was up to his old antics again. We were discussing the optimal time for him to claim Social Security, and inevitably life expectancy comes up.
You took the money and ran, didn't you? When it comes to Social Security, most Americans do the same thing.
"I just turned 62 and am now eligible to collect my Social Security retirement benefit. Why wouldn't I take the money and run?"
The Social Security system is filled with complexity - questions ranging from when should I claim to isn't the Social Security system bankrupt to when can I collect my Social Security retirement benefit are all complicated on their own.