When is the best age to file for Social Security?

When is the best age to file for Social Security?


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Estimated read time: 6-7 minutes

It's more important than ever to make the right decision about when to file for Social Security.

You only get one shot to get it right. And once you file, you're locked in – you can't change your mind later. And your filing decision has recently become even more complicated. Especially if you hope to collect Social Security through 2035 and beyond.

Experts Tyson Thacker and Ryan Thacker from B.O.S.S. Retirement Solutions recently explained what's changed with filing for Social Security as well as how Utah residents could get the most income when they file for Social Security today.

Tyson Thacker and Ryan Thacker are the CEO and president of B.O.S.S. Retirement Solutions, with six offices located throughout the Wasatch Front. They are published authors of the book, "The B.O.S.S. Retirement Blueprint" and they've helped thousands of area families get the most out of their Social Security benefits.

What's the big change with Social Security?

"We're rapidly approaching the edge of the cliff," explains Tyson Thacker. "The Social Security Trust Fund recently confirmed it's projected to run out of money in less than 10 years."

If you're retiring today, your retirement could last for 20- or 30-plus years. That means Social Security could be reduced in the middle of your retirement. And you could be looking at a 17% or bigger cut in your monthly income.

"This could be devastating," adds Ryan Thacker. "Especially for retirees living on a fixed income and relying on Social Security to pay for their retirement expenses. This is a big part of why we're telling our clients there's an old way and a new way to file for benefits. It's like the rules have completely changed."

Filing for your benefits is complicated

Filing for your benefits was already complicated enough. A lot more complicated than most people realize.

According to a Forbes article, there are 2,728 rules in the Social Security handbook. And there are thousands of rules about those rules. Even worse, these rules are written in geek-speak – a language nobody can understand.

That makes your decision about the best age to file complicated enough. But if you're filing today, you now have to consider the potential reduction in benefits. If benefits could get cut in less than 10 years, how could that impact your best age to file?

"Too many people are flying blind when it comes to making this critical decision," says Tyson Thacker. "If you want to know your best age to file, you might want help. It could pay off big to reach out to a professional who understands the situation, and can consider your total picture."

There's a lot of money at stake

Filing for Social Security could be one of the most important financial decisions of your life.

If you made an average income, your benefits could add up to several hundred thousand dollars in lifetime income. And if you made an above-average income, they could be worth more than $1 million.

Depending on when you file, it could easily make a six-figure difference in your lifetime income. And that's why this decision can't be taken lightly.

"Research has shown that 96% of Americans miss out on an average of $111,000 in total benefits," says Ryan Thacker. "It comes down to filing mistakes, including filing at the wrong time. Unfortunately, this money is rightfully yours. And $111,000 could go a long way in retirement"

Conventional wisdom for filing for Social Security is dead

The old rules no longer apply. Choosing your best age to file for Social Security is now more complicated.

"In the past, the goal was to maximize your monthly check," explains Tyson Thacker. "But what people don't realize is that everything is connected. When you file for Social Security, it could impact the taxes you pay on your benefits. It could also impact the taxes on your IRA and 401K withdrawals, and other investment income. And finally, it could impact your spousal benefits, and double your Medicare premiums," he continues.

So, filing for Social Security isn't just about the amount of your benefits checks. Because everything is connected. You have to consider how all the pieces work together. Otherwise you could end up with less net income from Social Security.

There are even some cases where you could yield more net income from Social Security by filing for your benefits early. And this could be even more true if benefits get cut during your retirement, due to the Social Security Trust Fund running out of money.

There is no one-size-fits-all strategy

It's natural to speak to friends and family members when making your Social Security decision. It might seem helpful to hear when they filed for their Social Security benefits. But this can lead you to the wrong answer for you. There are just too many factors to consider. These can include your health and expected life span, income sources, retirement expenses, taxes, spousal benefits, inflation, Medicare premiums, the state of the Social Security Trust Fund, and more.

So, you can't rely on some one-size-fits-all strategy. Because your situation is totally unique to you.

Ultimately, if you want to find your best age to file for your Social Security benefits, it's smart to get help. There are professionals who specialize in this decision. They can help you make a decision that accounts for all the complex factors that can impact your net benefits.

To help you navigate this complex process, the Thackers and their team at B.O.S.S. Retirement Solutions are offering a free, customized Social Security Analysis.

This analysis simplifies the entire process for you by pinpointing the exact time to maximize your benefits – while considering any impacts on your taxes, IRA and 401K withdrawals; investment income, spousal benefits and Medicare premiums.

Some advisors charge hundreds of dollars for a customized analysis. But B.O.S.S. Retirement Solutions offers this for free – even if you're not a client.

The strategies used are best-suited for families who have saved more than $200,000 for retirement and have not filed for Social Security.

To schedule your free analysis that could unlock the full potential of your Social Security benefits, call 801-990-5055 or request your free Social Security Analysis online.

Tyson Thacker and Ryan Thacker are the CEO and President of B.O.S.S. Retirement Solutions. They are a five-time winner of Utah's Best of State Award and have six offices located throughout the Wasatch Front.

Advisory services offered through B.O.S.S. Retirement Advisors, an SEC-Registered Investment Advisory firm. Insurance products and services offered through B.O.S.S. Retirement Solutions. Information contained in this material is given for informational purposes only, and no statement contained herein shall constitute tax, legal or investment advice. The information is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions, nor should it be construed as advice designed to meet the particular needs of any individual. You should seek advice on legal and tax questions from an independent attorney or tax advisor. B.O.S.S. is not affiliated with the U.S. government or any government agency. Marketing materials provided by Infinity Marketing Services. B.O.S.S. submitted applications and paid fees to be considered for the Utah Best of Utah awards. Results were independently determined by the awarding organization (https://www.bestofstate.org/about.html) and the information B.O.S.S. provided. B.O.S.S. received the Utah Best of State award in 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2023.

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