The BEST Age to File for Social Security

– If you’re wondering what
the best age is to file for Social Security, you’ve
come to the right spot because I’m going to give you a few things to think about that no one else has. (techno music) You know trying to figure
out when you should file for Social Security
perplexes a lot of people. There’s data that suggests
everyone should file early, then there’s other data that suggests everyone should file later and it just leaves individuals really confused. And I know this because it’s the number one question that I’m asked. If you look at when Americans
file for Social Security, they haven’t gotten this figured out yet. In fact, nearly 60
percent of all Americans file before full retirement age. Around 30 percent file
at full retirement age and 12 percent file sometime
after full retirement age. What’s interesting is that those that file before full retirement
age, the vast majority of those are simply filing at age 62, the earliest age they
can and there is no way that just filing at the
earliest age possible was right for nearly
half of all 62 year olds. There’s enough data on retirement planning to know that’s not right. And there’s a reason individuals do this and we’re going to cover
that in just a moment. But first, let’s go back
and look at how filing age reduces or increases your benefit amount. So let’s assume that age 67
is your full retirement age, that’s when you can get 100
percent of your benefit. If you file at 62,
you’re going to get less, around 70 percent of your benefit, and you’ll see that benefit increase all the way back up to
your full retirement age. And then if you file after
your full retirement age you’ll get slightly more than what your full retirement age benefit was, it’s increased by eight percent per year all the way up until age 70. So then why are so many people
making this bad decision to file at the earliest age possible? There’s a term that behavioral economists use called hyperbolic discounting. It’s a cognitive bias where individuals are willing to receive
a smaller reward today, instead of a known larger reward later. And it’s more pronounced
as the reward gets closer. For example, imagine you’re offered 50 dollars today, or
60 dollars in one week. When they did the surveys they found that most individuals would say, I want my 50 dollars now, thank you. I don’t want to wait a week
because it may not be there. However, when they changed
the question and said, would you rather have 50 dollars in a year or 60 dollars in a year and one week? Most of the individuals
responded and said, ah, you know what, I’ll wait the 53 weeks. And what they’re thinking is, I’ve already waited a year, what’s another week? And this hyperbolic
discounting is very easy to observe in general retirement planning. You can build the perfect retirement income plan for someone, but as that date gets closer things start to change. And it’s because those
rewards are getting closer. So while we’d all like to believe that we can make decisions based on the facts and not emotions, when
it gets right down to it your emotions can take over and get you to make a decision that
is not optimal for you. And that’s why we’re
seeing so many individuals filing at the earliest age possible. But now that you understand
that you may have this predisposition to
file as early as possible, you can arm yourself with the
facts on when you should file. And the first thing you need to know, don’t use a break even analysis. This old school approach to figuring out when you should file,
only takes into account your life expectancy and completely ignores the other factors that should be part of a great filing decision. Now for years, this
was the accepted method of determining when you should file, in fact the Social Security Administration had a break even analysis
on their website. Thankfully, they’ve since taken that down. But this analysis would simply look at cumulative benefits for
filing at the various ages and at what point do those intersect? So for example, if you
compare filing at 62 versus 67, you can see
that there is a point where those two lines intersect. And that’s at about age 78, so it was easy to run this analysis and say, OK, I think I’m going to
live longer than age 78, so I’m going to wait
til I’m age 67 to file. And the same could be said
for filing at 70 versus 67. In that case, the break
even is generally around 82. But the question this break even analysis answers is, what if I die early? A real analysis to determine what your filing strategy should be also asks the very important question, what if I live longer than expected? When I’m advising clients
on Social Security strategy there are 12 factors that
we include to determine what the right strategy should be. The first is gender, then
marital status or statuses, contribution to income, what
are the children’s ages? Are there any disabilities with
the children, with yourself? What’s your health like, what’s your spouse’s health, what’s your spouse’s age? Are there other assets, what kind of other income streams do you have? What does your tax scenario look like? And are you still employed? Understanding those things can help you make the right decision. Now there’s a lot of
research that suggests filing later is the best option. Now some articles and
researchers will even go so far as to say, it’s always the best option. And mathematically, you could potentially make the case for that the
vast majority of the time. But there are some cases where filing early is much more beneficial. So let’s take a look at some cases where it’s in your favor to file earlier and then we’ll look at some situations where it’s in your favor to file later. Now the first thing I
want you to keep in mind is that if you file before
your full retirement age the Social Security earnings
limit could come into play. And that simply says that there’s a limit on the amount of money that
you can earn from employment while you’re drawing Social Security. After full retirement age
that goes away completely. So if you’re still working and you make above 17,000 dollars and that
amount’s going to increase on an annual basis, filing
shouldn’t even be an option. So the first case where you need to file is if you need the income. There’s not a lot of strategy here, if you need the income,
you need to go file. Now this income need could be because you lost your job or some other factor, but I want to make a side note here. If the income deficit is
coming from a disability you might want to consider
filing for Social Security Disability instead of retirement benefits. This is because your retirement benefit is going to be about 70 percent of your full retirement age benefit and your disability benefit is going to be 100 percent of your full
retirement age benefit. The second consideration is if you have minor or disabled children at home. And this even extends to a spouse who may be at home taking
care of these children. You will have to file first,
before they are eligible for a benefit from your work record. And when combined with your
own benefit for filing early, albeit a reduced benefit,
the benefits to your children and your eligible spouse
can be up to 180 percent of your full retirement age benefit. And if you add up the total amount of monthly payments coming in, there’s no way you could ever catch up by simply delaying til
your full retirement age or later and then filing, you will have missed too many benefits being paid. The third option is if
you are the lower earner and your spouse is in poor health. Now this is a difficult one to discuss because we’re talking about getting your spouse’s survivor
benefit down the road. But if there’s a terminal illness this is something you need to plan for. Here’s the way this works. If your spouse had
higher earnings than you, most likely their benefit
is higher than yours. If they die first, their benefit
will become your benefit. And all the delaying that
you may or may not have done on your own benefit
will not matter at all. You will simply take over
the highest benefit amount. The fourth consideration is if your spouse is the lower earner and older than you. So if your spouse is older than you and their own benefit is not as high as the amount they can
receive as a spousal benefit, it could make sense to file, thus opening your work record up to
pay a spousal benefit. When you compare the
total amount of benefits you could both receive,
this strategy could make more sense than
delaying your own benefit. And the fifth consideration
for filing early is if you are entitled to both survivor benefits and your own benefits. While this strategy is
highly dependent on the math, it could make sense to file
for your survivor benefit as early as age 60, by the way,
not 62, as early as age 60, and then switch to your own benefit later. So those are the factors that determine whether or not you should file early, but what are some of the factors that determine when you should file later? Well the first thing is, if
none of those early factors apply to you, you should
probably just file later. How much later, well that is subjective, it depends on your unique situation, but one thing should be very, very clear, retiring and filing for Social Security does not have to happen at the same time. It may be optimal for
you to file for benefits years before or after you leave work. Here’s a few other things to think about. If you like good returns,
filing later makes sense. You know, imagine for a
minute that you heard about an income producing investment that’s backed by the U.S. government. They’ll start paying you today, but they have a deal for you. If you just delay for eight
years they’ll increase your lifetime benefit payment
by as much as 77 percent. You think you’d be interested? You know the truth is is that by the time word got out on an
investment vehicle like this it’d probably be sold out
and no longer available. But the good news is,
it is still available. If you delay your benefits
from age 62 to 70, your benefit is going
to be 77 percent higher if you’re drawing off
of your own work record. The third consideration is if
you are the high income earner and you expect your spouse
to live longer than you. You know the thought, I need to go ahead and file, what if I die early? is often quoted as the
rationale for filing at 62 by people in my office
and usually it’s the men in my office that are saying that. My response is often this,
you probably will die early and that’s exactly the reason you should think about filing later. If you’re the high income earner, depending on your other resources delaying your filing
could increase the amount of survivor benefit that’s
left to your spouse. If there is an age difference
this is especially important. If your spouse is much younger than you there’s going to be many years where she’ll collect that
benefit, in all likelihood, and if you delay, it’s going
to be a higher benefit. And the fourth
consideration, if you’d like to potentially lower your tax bill. Now I’ll tell you this, your tax advisor is the best resource for
recommendations on a tax plan. It could make sense to
delay filing though, to reduce your taxes in retirement. It won’t work for everyone, but for those in that right income
bracket, this could be huge. If you look at the way Social
Security benefits are taxed, somewhere between zero
percent and 85 percent of your benefit amount is
added to your taxable income. And that’s all through the
provisional income calculation and I also have a video out there on that. But the strategy we’re talking about here is potentially front
loading your income needs with distributions from
a retirement account, letting your Social
Security benefit increase and then taking that benefit later. If you want some more information on that, your accountant should be able to help you figure out, does that make sense to you? There’s one thing that’s clear here, there’s no one size fits all answers or rules of thumb for
Social Security filing. Even this video didn’t
cover all the factors you need to know to make a great decision. So if you’d like some help in making your decision, here’s what I’d suggest. Find a good quality financial planner. Unfortunately, it can be difficult. It’s not as simple as finding someone with a certain designation
or a certain degree. To my knowledge there are
no legitimate programs that teach financial planners
what they need to know to help clients with Social Security. So since there’s not a good way to know, the burden is on you to find
out if your financial planner is passionate enough about this topic to have taken the time
to learn these rules. And there’s only one way to do that, you’re going to have to
ask a lot of questions. So here’s a few questions
that I would get started with. First, how much does your help
cost, Mr. Financial Planner? If they say nothing, please run, please find another financial planner that will charge you an hourly
fee for this kind of help because if they’re doing it for free most likely there’s an
investment pitch tied to it. Now if it’s your financial planner, you’ve had a relationship
with him for years, maybe they’re already
charging you an ongoing fee for management or something like that, it’s likely they would
roll in that assistance to the services they
already provide to you. But, beyond that question, here’s some additional questions that you need to ask. What’s my full retirement age? They should ask you what your birth date is and give you a number. What are the length of marriage rules? How does work affect my benefit? Can you explain provisional income? These are very basic questions that any financial
planner who’s really good in Social Security, they’ll be
able to answer that quickly. If they don’t, keep looking. If you’re diligent in your search, you’re going to find the help you need. And remember, this is your
retirement, so take charge. Well, I hope I’ve helped
you out today in this video. Before you leave, could
you take just a moment and subscribe to my YouTube channel? That way you’ll get all
these videos as they come out and you’re not going to have to remember to come out here and look at my channel. Also, if you look up at the screen now, you’re going to see some videos popping up that I think you’ll like as well.

Paul Whisler


  1. I've released an updated version of this video at

  2. Best to file the same year you become eligible for Medicare, 65. This means I should retire the same year I turn 65 in January while I am still 64. My company will continue to pay for medical for 12 months.


  4. Let me guess. Your answer after a 15 minute "explanation" will be "It depends!"

  5. I believe it best to wait until at least Medicare eligibility – age 65 – before beginning SS payments. That will be four years from now and 20 months before my full SS benefit (age 66-8 mos.) With the retirement savings we have now – and assuming a reasonable growth rate (4-5% per year) for those savings – I expect our income to be HIGHER than our final year of employment. My plan assumes an average 5% growth rate of those savings (when withdrawals begin) and also allows a 2.5% annual increase to account for inflation. First year withdrawal will be 4% of the total. The funds will come from annuities and IRA's. Most will be regular (taxable) but a portion will be Roth (non-taxable). The only mistake I have made the past 37 years is not accumulating enough Roth funds. I will try to limit tax liability as much as possible, but believe it may bite us a little. Overall, I believe we are in good shape and ready for age 65 retirement!

  6. File soon….The way the economy is going there may not be money left or the Gov can increase the age to 72?

  7. Taking at 62 has been a godsend. Yes, I would have earned a bit more later. But even the counselor at the SS office advised me to take it ASAP as I never was a big earner in my life. Plus I had two kids under age 19 who have gotten almost as much as me every month. It has really come in handy and yes, I've supplemented it with my freelance work. If you're into big returns and have made a lot of money in your lifetime, yes, take it later. It's really not rocket science figuring out what's best for you. And as most of the comments mention here, the quality of life for many of us when older isn't usually better than right now. In other words, as someone once said, in the longrun we're all going to be dead.

  8. I gave up when you ran your third commercial. Your more interested in making money, than informing the American people. Screw you!

  9. Health is a issue now. Glad we started receiving SS at 62. Engery Levels are great at 62. 70 not so much.

  10. I filed at 62 because I had gotten laid off and needed the money. I really had no choice.

  11. I lost my sister at 60 to pneumonia, and my brother at 47 to a traffic accident. The Bible says "boast not thyself of tomorrow for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth." I am 60. 62 for me.

  12. I'm 64 ,been on SSI two years. I'll probably cross over by 70. Don't want to be around drooling and wearing a diaper.

  13. When you're 70 years old how much good living you have left? Waiting till 67 is ideal, but unrealistic for many because we don't want to be in a Freaking Nursing Home when we get our benefits!

  14. My house is nearly paid off, my vehicles are paid off and I have a decent amount saved up. My plan is to semi-retire at age 56 and fully retire at 62, Government doesn't like it tough sh_t!

  15. Retired at 64, the body is done with work. Don't listen to him, he is pencil pusher, never worked a hard job in his life.

  16. I’m 50 and plan to retire when I turn 55/59.5. Live on my 401(k) and IRA. Then, collect SS at 67/70. Necessary to avoid being in a higher tax bracket after retirement.

  17. More bullshit. Take SS as soon as you want/need it.

    Stop listening to these bullshit artists.

    Think for yourself.

  18. I’m taking it as soon as possible. Take it 70 dead 72. Take it as soon as possible

  19. I don't need the social security because I make a lot of passive income. I will wait until 70 regardless because taking it early will simply be taxed to nothing. This money is mine, I earned it but the system is set to punish those that are making too much. I don't really care about this but it shows once again that the government can not be trusted with your money

  20. I dragged my self to work till 68. Will get ss at 69. Hope I live a long time

  21. Very helpful. I am collecting my spousal benefit while waiting until 70 for mine. Seems to be the best strategy for me and my situation.

  22. There is no best age! Every situation is different! Fake experts like you should shut up!

  23. What do we you when we’ve had a work accident and can’t work any longer unfortunately at age 52 ,can you explain the social security administration rules or secrets

  24. I am be the first one there about any protest, any protest ACKBAR

  25. Thank You Barack Oblunder for giveing S.S. to Illegal.Imigrants who NEVER payed …IN …………

  26. Broke my hip at age 12. Started working when I was a teen. Disability at 56 causes VERY VERY VERY BAD hip pain N DAMAGE. But my coworkers convinced me to apply. It was not an easy choice FOR ME. I ENJOY MY JOB. NOW. I AM GLAD I GET SS. VERY GLAD I FILE EARLY.

  27. Who can Live on $1,040.oo a month at 62? Instead $2,227.oo at 69?

  28. I’m 47 and suffered many injuries physical and emotional. I’m applying for disability. This is so depressing.

  29. I retired at 62.I wanted to have quality of life for few years before I die.

  30. Sad thing is by the time we retired the age requirement will be a LOT higher and we'll practically be dead before we qualify. Just look at the history of retirement it use to be 59!!!!! Now look at it!

  31. It all depends also if you retire early. If you retire at 62 for whatever reason (disregarding COLA) you will NOT earn any more by waiting to full retirement age. Nobody ever says the 8% increase per year is based on the assumption that you CONTINUE TO WORK! Factor #12 is probably the most important above all before considering the others

  32. I’ll took mine at 62! I don’t think I will last till I’m out of here! I’m gonna try to get back as much as I can from this fucking greedy government before I die all the damn senators that have served more than two terms do you know that they get their full fucking salary and their damn benefits for the rest of their life yeah that just pisses me off so all I do is buy more ammo and my Red Wolf won’t let you sneak up on me!

  33. Most of the relatives and my family members died before reaching 65 … I am filing IF I make it to 62 in 4 years.

  34. I am turning 66 in October which is my full retirement age.

  35. WRONG!!!! If 67 is your FRA, and you file at 65 ( 24 months early) your benefit will be reduced by 10%. Not 14%. 5/12/100 x 24 months is 0.1.
    NOT 0.14!!!!!!! You’d get 90% of your FRA amount. ( plus two years of COLAs).

  36. 62 period, end of story. I am taking the money and investing all of it MYSELF.
    I need my own YouTube Channel

  37. It always seems like a great idea to start collecting at 70 when one is a healthy 56 yr old like myself, but reality sets in when one’s health starts to get a little shaky at 60.

  38. I retired at 62 yrs old this year. I think, I made the right decision. I still think the federal government owes me interest on the social security they took out of my checks for over 30 years.

  39. The old saying is correct. A bird in the hand… beats two in the bush. Get it early !

  40. If your parent is on odsp in Ontario, when should they apply.?

  41. SS has been robbed by the federal spending. Stolen! Also SS won't pay 100% of what you are due!

  42. I am 63 and still working. My husband is disabled and has already filed. My FRA is 66 and 4 months. Am I eligible for my spousal benefit now and then at my FRA when I do retire?

  43. I want to retire before FRA like 62 but the only thing in my way is that #### heath insurance cost!! I just don't understand if you are able to retire and collect SS at 62 than why can't you get on Medicare at the same time!! then if you do collect at 62 and go part time you get taxed after 17,000 50% so you work just to pay health insurance premiums. Wish they would change this so people at 62 can get on Medicare at 62 if they choose to retire at 62.

  44. What? You have to file when you retire and are the retirement age. Otherwise whatever you earn if you still work can't be over 14K!

  45. The problem is, you don't know how long your going to live, grab it as soon as you can,


  47. Hi , I an wondering. If I start my SS At 62 , three mouths before
    My B-day When will I get my first
    Payment and how many mouths will I get.

  48. Take the money the first day you can. You can still get a job and add to it. It's your money, use it when you want to. They want you to put it off so they don't have to pay you and they hope you die first. Don't wait. besides , every year they keep trying to end it. Take it now beef it's too late.

  49. I am a us citizen .living overseas in iran tehran .by way of swiss embassy i filed for my ssi 13 monthes ago.i have not received one penny yet.!!each time i talk to swiss embassy they say they have done all proper paper work and its not them its us governments fault!!! So i need to get pay for 10 monthes now !!! But who is listening .

  50. I think somebody should show some courage or some humanity within themself to help me out.find out why i have not got my ssi for 10 monthes now?! Is it the swiss embassy or us government since i live in tehran and i cant leave here now!!!!..

  51. Please do not tell me oh you must make appointment and come to the office? I am in iran…….

  52. HI , If I retire at say , 66 and 2 mos, but delay filing for another two to four years , will this reduce my income due to the years at zero income?

  53. We are not born to be work horses for other ungrateful less than humans. Most of us don't believe we are going to get anything at all. This system is stupid. We are more than this. No body wants to hear your sugar coat bullshit. No one has any extra money to save for old age. We can't afford to live now. Or tomorrow. Employers are not paying enough. Debt will keep us all a slave nation.

  54. The key here is how much more you are willing to put up with As a male nurse I probably can last without wearing my self out I know another guy where I work who is 60 He works doubles when I asked why He stated I want to take ss at 62 and the more I. work now the more I get at 62 Hmmm I womder

  55. What he is saying seems logical but, it's not practical. It's an individual choice. Depending upon your health. If you get sick and find yourself in a nursing home it's just more money for them to take. You can't take the money with you when you're dead, hum… I'm talking the money and work part time if I have to and collect my pension. See you on the beaches of the world.

  56. LOL, this is pretty flawed logic. Lets say you have a reasonable expectation to live to 75 years old. Even if you do only collect say 60% at 62 years of age, and you could collect 100% at 67? Do the math. And yes, if you do live longer then the situation does change a bit, but what about your quality of life? What about having more time to enjoy the freedom of retirement? We never know whats around the corner. Unless you absolutely love your job and cant stand the idea of not going to work every day then (and I feel sorry for you) the only math that will really matter is TIME!

  57. i dont need my SS to live on, i would have to live to be 78 to break even, I AM TAKING MINE…………….. PERIOD!

  58. I’m 54 widow plan to collect my husband social security at the age of 60. do you think is a good idea to get it at the age of 60?

  59. Live off of your 401k first!!! Thats money you might not ever get back. Use it before you lose it! If not for medical insurance I'd retire without penalty 401k/ pension at 59 1/2.

  60. I know of a 33 year old who got his and back pay, how pathetic when when people of filing age have difficulties receiving it ,how pathetic

  61. "Bad decision to file at the earliest age possible?". So you are saying that YOU can guarantee that folk will live to full retirement age and older ???? WOW!!!! My best friend died in her sleep at 53….guess what ????…she won't be collecting anything

  62. Take the money at 62, enjoy the money. The government wants you to wait, and then they will watch you die.

  63. Question…I was married 23 years, but have been divorced for the last 14. Will my Ex able to clam SS benefit when she truns 62 even if I keep working to 67 or 70?

  64. The reason people file at 62 is because the years of winding down and no one's guaranteed to see 63 64 65 or 66 take it when you can get it it's yours you work for it don't let anybody tell you when to file

  65. Do you know why men usually die before their Wives? ….. Because they want to! 😉 Good video Devin. I fear things may become a moving target as the Govt spirals into deeper and deeper debt. Many young people think we don't deserve SS!

  66. File at 62 even if you are still working. You may not receive anything if your income is too high, but you won’t lose anything either. Any payments you miss are recalculated back in and your benefit amount will increase.

  67. Why 62? Inflation, they're printing money like crazy and the national debt is massive, get the money now, while it's still worth something! A bankrupt and politically unstable Federal Government that may have NOTHING if you wait . The fact you may not live long enough to collect anything by waiting or you might die soon after you start collecting. As grandma used to say, a bird in the hand is worth 2 in the bush!

  68. No point in getting SS as long as the government forces medicare down your throat!

  69. Didnt people used to retire at age 55? Work 50 years,be lucky to live 10 more. Not a good deal. Do every scam you can.

  70. If I would have waited to 66.5 instead of 62 it would have taken me 11.86 years before It would have made a difference. Besides I may NOT BE HERE AT 78.

  71. Not waiting 12 years just to get what I collect between 62 – 66.5…not taking chance I will live to be 78 just to start getting more back.. no thank you .. I've been collecting enjoying life RETIRED!! BUT BY ALL MEANS ALL YOU OTHER JACKASSES KEEP WORKING WORK TILL YOU'RE EIGHTY I DON'T CARE.

  72. Just stop giving it to anyone thsts never worked, or anyone that walks a cross the border
    I was disabled at 23 while I collected I went back to school and "then went back to work for 20 more years"
    And now I hear I might not get my disability in a few years.

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