What do you need to do before you file for Social Security benefits? What can be done after you file for Social Security benefits? Not considering all of your options before you file can put you in a bad situation and you may be stuck with your decision.
Social Security benefits are a lifetime benefit. This can be not only your lifetime but also your spouse’s lifetime. Social Security benefits were never meant to be your only income in retirement. They should complement your other sources of retirement. They make a good base income when you are trying to decide how to use your other investments.
The choices you make of when to draw your Social Security benefits affects your monthly income and that of your spouse if they survive you. Taking benefits at 62 will cut your benefit by 25% over your full retirement age benefit. It will also limit the amount your surviving spouse can draw when you die. Waiting until age 70 will increase your full retirement age benefit by 32%. This also increases the benefit to your spouse if they survive you.