When to Collect

Physician's Money Digest, June30 2003, Volume 10, Issue 12


Social Security benefits can start when you turn age 62, but is it wiserto begin collecting your money then or to wait until full retirementage? Full retirement age dependson your birth year. If you were born in 1940, for example, you can collectfull benefits at age 65 1/2. Mostpeople settle for simple arithmetic—how much money you would collect inthe years between age 62 and full retirement age vs how long you wouldhave to live before that money would be offset by the higher benefit you'dget if you waited. What most people don't account for, however, are investmentgains on money you don't have to pull out of your retirement funds ifyou collect Social Security early. Figuring in yields on investments can addseveral years to the break-even age.