If you are single, and solely responsible for your retirement, making the optimal Social Security claiming decision is particularly important. Ask an RSSA® about your options.

Singles: Collecting maximum benefits comes down to good timing

It’s no secret that Social Security benefits account for a major portion of most retirees’ incomes. Naturally, you want to maximize the benefits you’re entitled to — and to do that, you need to know the optimal time is to start collecting. Coordinating benefits with other sources of retirement income you might have can potentially provide you with thousands of dollars more in after-tax income, if done right. An advisor with the RSSA® credential can help you make all the right decisions — at the right time — to help ensure you receive all you’re entitled to.

When and how should I start collecting?

There are many factors that should be taken into account to decide when and how to claim Social Security benefits.

  • Benefits are available at a reduced amount at 62, and reach the maximum amount by filing at age 70.
  • Maximum expected age of life is an important consideration.
  • How will this income fit in with your other income sources?

How large a benefit can I expect?

For someone filing at their full retirement age, the average monthly amount in 2024 is $1,907. An individual can see an estimate on their mySocialSecurity account, or work with an RSSA to find their exact benefit.

The maximum amount this year at full retirement age is $3,822, and for someone filing at age 62, the maximum amount is $2,710. The absolute maximum benefit that an individual can receive per month in 2024 is $4,873, and that is for those filing at age 70.

What percentage of Social Security Is taxable?

This is dependent on your Combined Income, which is made up of your adjusted gross income, plus one-half of your Social Security benefit, plus non-taxable interest. If you file as an individual, your Social Security is not taxable only if your combined income for the year is below $25,000. Up to 50% may be taxable if your income is between $25,000 and $34,000. If your income is higher than that, up to 85% of your benefits may be taxable. The thresholds for a couple are a little higher: $32,000 and $44,000.

The takeaway:

All retirees can benefit from smart planning on when to take their money. Consider all your income sources when making a decision on Social Security. Generally, the longer you delay taking Social Security, the higher your monthly benefits may be, and the gains from waiting can be significant. RSSA® advisors have the education and training provided by NARSSA (the National Association of Registered Social Security Analysts), to help you collect all benefits you may be entitled to.

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Talk with a Registered Social Security Analyst® — a trained advisor for a free, no-obligation consultation. If you decide to engage the RSSA®, you’ll receive a comprehensive personalized analysis and advice that may provide you with thousands or tens of thousands more in lifetime benefits.