Can Seniors Afford to Delay Social Security Benefits?


When you’re old enough to retire, do you delay Social Security benefits or take them ASAP?

It’s a choice that’s about perspective. Every senior’s situation is unique, as far as their career and costs. If you’re in a stable career field and good health, waiting seems more feasible.

But if you’re struggling financially or otherwise, you may need your benefits the moment they’re available. The bigger question in today’s tough economy is this — can seniors really afford to wait much longer?

Are Seniors Being Pushed to Delay Social Security Benefits?

On average, seniors spend over $50,000 yearly in total. For those who have stable incomes in careers that are secure, it may be possible to delay taking Social Security at least for a few years.

But some seniors have health issues that take their toll on both their finances and their ability to work. They could also have outstanding debts. Or maybe they live in an expensive area, and have no way to move? These factors make it more likely that they’ll need their benefits ASAP.

But there are efforts to push the goalpost on retirement. Specifically, the retirement age could be raised. Even if it isn’t, there are measures in effect to make waiting seem more worthwhile. One such measure will see the terminology change.

For example, this would change the age of 62 from the early eligibility age to the minimum benefit age. This is also the age when most seniors claim. This change would also see 66/67 and 70 be relabeled as the standard benefit age and maximum benefit age, respectively.

At the very top of the taxable income spectrum, delaying benefits could increase payments by nearly $2,000 a month. But few seniors earn at this level. So for them, is waiting really worth it? Or possible?

To delay, or not to delay — what’s your take? Share it with us in the comments. Be sure to bookmark the Council for Retirement Security for more content like this.


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