Tap Social Security Benefits Early or Wait?

When is the best time to start taking Social Security payments in order to maximize the benefits you’ve worked long and hard to earn, while ensuring that income from the federal program is there when you need it?

“Simple question, complex answer,” says George Gagliardi, a Certified Financial Planner® with Coromandel Wealth Management in Lexington, MA.

Yet it’s a question that retirement-minded people in their 60s and 70s must ask. As valuable and timely as Social Security income can be during retirement, the rules governing program benefits can get convoluted, says Natalie Colley, a financial advisor with Francis Financial in New York City. “There’s a lot of confusion about Social Security out there.”

With potentially significant retirement income riding on the decision about when to start taking the benefits to which you’re entitled, it would be time and effort well spent. To get the process rolling, here’s a look at some of the key factors that may weigh in the decision:
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