As you are probably aware, Social Security allows a person to start to collect their retirement benefits at any age between 62 and 70. If you collect at 62, your retirement checks are greatly reduced. If you wait until age 70, those same
monthly checks are much higher. I have always maintained that a person should wait to age 70 to collect if possible. That said, the debate rages on.
Don't Wait, Says One Advisor
The Washington Post published an article on this topic. In it, they quote Bill Roberts, a financial adviser in North Carolina. According to Mr. Roberts (Henry Fonda?), the smartest thing is to Go On, Take The Money And Run.
With all due respect to Mr. Roberts, this is not good advice. His approach is that of the one-marshmallow tribe. It is short-sighted and lacking in the sort of discipline that makes for wise financial strategy. I have said for years that
allowing people to collect their benefits early is one of the most diabolical government ideas ever. It takes advantage of human nature to cheat people out of benefits they are otherwise entitled to.
Why Not The Full Monty?
Social Security should go all in and offer such ideas as:
* Retire at 52 and get half your benefits or 42 and get a quarter of your benefits
* Take a lump sum upon retiring
* Trade your Social Security retirement benefits for a handful of beans.
Your Choice (Don't Screw It Up)
It's your retirement, so do it any way you wish. But, if you want to be smart about it, hold off until age 70 to start collecting Social Security retirement benefits.