Muskogee Lawyer BlogWhen to Begin Claiming Social Security Benefits

social security attorneyThe decision to begin claiming Social Security benefits can be rather complicated. It’s made more stressful by the fact that once you make a decision, it cannot be changed. An experienced Social Security attorney can help you evaluate the decision to begin claiming benefits. To help you decide when to begin claiming Social Security benefits, here is a list of your basic options, along with a few suggestions.

Early Retirement

You may choose to begin claiming Social Security benefits as early as age 62, but doing so will mean that your monthly benefit payments will be about 20% less than if you wait until full retirement. Nevertheless, early retirement may be a good option for you under the following circumstances:

  • You are unable to work, but ineligible for unemployment.
  • You are close to, or already over, the Social Security earnings limit.
  • You believe your lifespan will not be very long.
  • You need the money to live on.

Full Retirement

If you don’t need the money earlier, you can wait for full retirement and enjoy larger monthly benefits. The age at which you can collect full benefits will vary between 65-67, depending on the year you were born. There is, however, a significant incentive to wait even longer to begin claiming Social Security benefits.

Late Retirement

If you can delay claiming Social Security benefits, you will enjoy even larger monthly payments. The Social Security Administration will increase your monthly benefits by 4 -8% for each year past full retirement, until you reach 70 years of age. This delay can be advantageous if:

  • You are married and your spouse has contributed much less to Social Security than you have.
  • You have dependents who can receive higher monthly benefits as your survivors once you die.


Your options for beginning your Social Security benefits are 1) start early from age 62, 2) wait until you can receive full retirement benefits between ages 65 and 67 or 3) wait even longer, for which you will receive larger benefit payments for each year you delay.

It’s important to have an idea of what you wish to accomplish before you begin claiming your Social Security benefits, because once you make your decision, it will be that way for the rest of your life. An experienced Oklahoma Social Security attorney can help you decide which option will be in your best interest and the best interest of your loved ones.

Confidential Consultation: Muskogee Social Security Attorney

Contact the Wirth Law Office – Muskogee for a free consultation today with a Muskogee Social Security attorney at (918) 913-0725 or call toll-free at (888) 447-7262. If you prefer to contact us by email, use the form at the top of this page or email

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