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What Is the Best Age to Start Taking Payouts?

May 30, 2014

Get out your crystal ball. This is one of the trickiest questions retirees face, because the best age to take benefits depends on something you can’t know -- how long you'll live. If you die relatively early - sorry, this gets morbid – it would make sense to start payouts as soon as possible (right at age 62); if you live to 100, your best strategy is to put off taking payments until you turn 70.

One thing you can figure out is your break-even date – that is, the point at which waiting to receive your full benefit amount provides more money in the long run than if you retire early and take the reduced payment. If you were to die before that break-even point, however, you would have been better off going with the early (albeit reduced) benefits. Check out the Social Security Administration's guide on when to collect to help you figure out your break-even date and your optimal age to start receiving benefits.

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