Maximizing Social Security Benefits in Retirement
For many retirees, Social Security will be the centerpiece of their retirement income. That’s why it’s so important to become educated about the various options for collecting Social Security benefits before retirement. One wrong decision can affect you (and your spouse if you are married) throughout retirement, which for many people adds up to nearly one third of their life—a long time to live with a costly mistake.
According to our “African American Financial Experience” study, on average, African Americans expect to—and do—retire earlier than the general population, despite lower retirement savings. One-in-four non-retired African Americans expects to retire before age 60, compared with one-in-five of the general population. The average retirement age for African Americans is significantly lower than that of the general population (56 vs. 59).
But a lower retirement age doesn't have to mean lower Social Security benefits. Although almost everyone becomes eligible for benefits at age 62, delaying benefits until you reach full retirement age (an age determined by your birth year) or even 70 years old may help you receive the higher amount you qualify for.
If you’re thinking about retirement but haven’t reached your full retirement age, watch our video to understand the benefits of delaying retirement before making a decision. Also, read our white paper, Innovative Strategies to Help Maximize Social Security Benefits for more information on the taxation of Social Security benefits; strategies for divorced spouses, widows, and widowers; and how to bridge the gap until Social Security benefits can begin.
The Prudential Insurance Company of America, Newark, NJ