In this series, “Social Security Secrets,” experts Larry Kotlikoff and Phil Moeller explain the most important things you need to know about this valuable retirement benefit. Kotlikoff and Moeller are co-authors of the New York Times best-seller Get What’s Yours: The Secrets to Maxing Out Your Social Security.
When should you file for Social Security? Most Americans file well before Social Security’s full retirement age, which is currently 66. But waiting to file until you’re 70 will get you the maximum monthly benefit based on your own work record. If you wait until age 70 to claim your retirement benefits, your monthly payment will be 76% higher than it would be if you were to file at age 62. But fewer than 2% of Americans wait until 70 to file.
You might want to file early, however, if you have school-aged children who could receive benefits based on your record.