The Best Age To Collect Social Security Benefits

Martha Shedden RSSA President & Co-Founder


“What is the best age to collect Social Security?” is a question I am frequently asked. It is the million-dollar question for each of us! And the answer is…it depends.

It depends on your personal circumstances and the Social Security rules that apply to you, such as:

  • Your maximum life expectancy,
  • Whether you are single, married, divorced, widowed,
  • If you are still working,
  • If you have other sources of income,
  • If you have a younger spouse and/or minor children,
  • If you or your spouse are disabled,
  • If you have an adult disabled child,

There is no “right” or “best” answer and, in fact, the age at which you will collect the maximized lifetime Social Security benefits may not even be the best fit for you.

What you should strive for is to make your optimal decision. The claiming age that makes the best sense to you as you phase into retirement and out of full-time work.

Retirement means something different to each of us.

You can “retire” from work and not necessarily start collecting Social Security benefits and you can also still be working while collecting benefits. But there are special rules that apply to that!

The bottom line is you need to understand the rules that apply to you and then analyze the claiming age options that you are considering so you can compare the resulting lifetime cumulative and annual income amounts.

That may seem like a big task! Good news, you can work with a Registered Social Security Analyst (RSSA) to do this with you and for you.

This is powerful information and it puts you in control when making one of the most important financial decisions of your life.