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Ask the Retirement Expert: Should I Take Social Security at 62?

Craig Volk, RICP® •  October 16, 2015 | Enjoying Retirement, Ask the Expert

Each week our Northwestern Mutual retirement experts answer your questions. This week’s question:

Should I take Social Security at 62?

By Craig Volk

In April of 2000, Craig began his career with Northwestern Mutual. As a Wealth Management Advisor and Retirement Planning Specialist, Craig’s practice focuses on an integrated planning approach involving retirement distribution planning, investment management and wealth distribution.

Two big factors you’ll want to consider when deciding whether to defer your social security benefits are health and your marital status.

The benefit of taking Social Security at 62—you can potentially start your retirement earlier than expected!

The con of taking Social Security it at 62—you take a significant discount on your Social Security benefit. For every year you wait to take social security your benefit increases by approximately an 8%. This increase happens up to age 70.

That means that, in general, if you die before age 82 you would have been better taking social security early. However, if you live past age 82 then you were probably better off deferring social security payments until age 70.

If you’re married, there may be more strategies you can use. Learn more about specific strategies in our whitepaper: Social Security Simplified: Select the Right Options to Help Maximize Your Income.

For a couple living today at age 65, there’s a 50% probability of one of them living to age 94.1 In large part, longevity and age differences are large factors in determining which strategy is right for you. It really is a case by case basis so working with an advisor to understand your situation is critical in making the right choice for you.

Do you have a question for our Northwestern Mutual retirement experts? Click here to send your questions.

1Source: Annuity 2000 Mortality Tables with mortality enhancements determined using projection scale G2.

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