News and Commentary

Timing Social Security Benefits By Lee F. Hediger

If you turned 62 this year, congratulations! You may be eligible to begin collecting Social Security benefits. However, the longer you wait to start claiming benefits, the higher the monthly payout you will receive.

For example, by waiting until you reach your full retirement age (FRA), as defined by the Social Security Administration (SSA) depending on the year you were born, you will receive the standard benefit based on your annual career earnings. Benefits claimed before your FRA will be reduced for each month until you reach your FRA, whereas waiting until you turn age 70 will provide you with tax credits that can maximize the amount you ultimately receive.

Here’s a breakdown of the numbers you should know to help you decide when is the best time to start collecting Social Security retirement income.

Age 62:

Many seniors and soon-to-be retirees sign up for Social Security benefits on their 62nd birthday. However, if your FRA is 66, you will receive 25 percent less from the Social Security Administration (SSA), or 30 percent less if your FRA is 67.

Age 66:

If you were born between 1943 and 1954, your FRA is 66. If you are turning 66 this year, you may begin receiving the full amount of your Social Security income without any  reduction in benefits. If you wait another year, you will receive an additional 8 percent in benefits. For each subsequent year of birth between 1955 and 1959, the FRE increases by two months. Therefore, if you were born in 1955, your FRE is 66 and two months. Born in 1958? Your FRE is 66 and eight months.

Age 67:

If you were born in 1960 or later, you will reach your full retirement age on your 67th birthday. If you claim Social Security a year prior to your 67th birthday, you will receive a 6.7 percent reduction in the benefits for which you are entitled. Wait a year to start claiming benefits at age 68, and you can receive 16 percent more in monthly benefits.

Age 70:

By waiting until age 70, you can receive the maximum amount of Social Security benefits, which can be as high as 24 percent.

Age is not the only factor to consider when making decisions about when to claim Social Security benefits. If you are married, you will also want to think about how spousal benefits fit into your overall strategy. These decisions should be made under the guidance of experienced financial advisors as a part of a broader retirement strategy and estate plan that addresses your unique needs and desires, including the condition of your health and medical requirements.

The professionals with Provenance Wealth Advisors work with individuals through all stages of life to develop the most appropriate estate and financial-planning strategies to help maximize their goals and minimize their tax liabilities.

About the Author: Lee F. Hediger is a co-founding director with Provenance Wealth Advisors, an Independent Registered Investment Advisor affiliated with Berkowitz Pollack Brant Advisors + CPAs, and a registered representative with Raymond James Financial Services. For more information, call (954) 712-8888 or email

Provenance Wealth Advisors, 515 E. Las Olas Blvd., Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33301 (954) 712-8888.

Lee F. Hediger is a registered representative of and offers securities through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC.

Raymond James is not affiliated with and does not endorse the opinions or services of Berkowitz Pollack Brant Advisors + CPAs. PWA is not a registered broker/dealer and is independent of Raymond James Financial Services. Investment Advisory Services offered through Raymond James Financial Services Advisors, Inc., and Provenance Wealth Advisors.

This material is being provided for information purposes only and is not a complete description, nor is it a recommendation. Any opinions are those of the advisors of PWA and not necessarily those of Raymond James. Any information is not a complete summary or statement of all available data necessary for making an investment decision and does not constitute a recommendation. Please note, changes in tax laws may occur at any time and could have a substantial impact upon each person’s situation. You should discuss any tax or legal matters with the appropriate professional. Prior to making an investment decision, please consult with your financial advisor about your individual situation.


To learn more about Provenance Wealth Advisors services click here or contact us at