Trap No. 4: Early benefits could be a big mistake
If you opt to take Social Security as soon as you are eligible, you may be doing yourself an injustice.
"If you delay taking benefits until age 70, you will see as much as an 8% increase in benefits for each year you delay," says Steve Gaito, Certified Financial Planner professional and a director at Social Security Solutions. "In addition to receiving a higher benefit, the annual cost-of-living adjustment will be based on the higher number."
"It's hard to find that kind of rate of return on regular investments, so it's good to delay if you can," says Weisman.
Of course, life expectancy plays a part in the decision of when to begin drawing benefits. "You generally know how healthy you are and what your family medical history is," says Ryan Leib, financial adviser with the Keystone Wealth Management Group at UBS. "We advise clients to determine whether they think they will live longer than age 77. If so, delaying until age 70 will net you more in benefits than opting to start collecting benefits early."
If you're able to live off other funds and delay taking Social Security, you should seriously consider doing so. "Delaying taking Social Security until age 70 could mean the difference between cat food and caviar in retirement," says Leib.