February 10, 2016

Know How Your Social Security Claiming Age Affects Your Retirement Benefits


It is never too early to start planning for retirement and in today’s technologically advanced environment, there are increasing programs and tool to help in this planning. One such tool by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is called “Planning for Retirement,” an interactive, online system that allows consumers to better decide when to start taking out Social Security retirement benefits.

Many Americans rely on Social Security to serve as a significant portion of their retirement income for extended periods of time; however, depending on individual circumstances, some Americans may end up receiving lower monthly benefits or may miss out on receiving higher benefits.

CFPB Planning for Retirement helps Americans estimate the amount of money they will receive at each age of their retirement. Financial Insecurity during retirement is a huge risk to many consumers and knowing when to begin claiming Social Security is one of the most important steps in successfully planning the rest of your life. The CFPB tool will walk you through real-life scenarios you may face later in life and will project your financial situation throughout the span of your retirement.

For Americans born after 1942, the full retirement age is 66 or 67, depending on the year of birth. You can choose to withdraw earlier than full retirement age, taking in less money each month, or you can withdraw later than full retirement age, taking in more money each month; however, withdrawal amount is usually a one-time choice and, outside of annual cost-of-living adjustments, will not be changeable.

To view the CFPB Planning for Retirement tool and to see the impact that withdrawal age has on your financial security, please visit http://www.consumerfinance.gov/retirement/before-you-claim/.


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