It’s tempting for some to retire early and start taking social security benefits at age 62, but if you can wait, that is the smart move. The average Social Security benefit in Kentucky is roughly $16,000 per year. Even with Social Security, some 13% of Kentucky seniors live in poverty.

A lot of people say they plan to retire early simply because they are “sick and tired of working.” If they retire too soon, they might be even more sick and tired of not having enough money in old age. 

You can increase the size of your future Social Security checks by delaying retirement. If you wait until you’re 66 to start taking your benefit, you can receive up to 44% more. And your cost of living increases going forward will be based on the higher amount. Life expectancy is much longer now than it was in 1935 when social security was created. Seniors of today must survive on their fixed incomes even longer.  

Of course, not everyone can wait to claim benefits until full retirement age. Poor health, physical limitations, workplace changes, caregiving demands and unemployment are a few of the factors that can make it difficult to wait to file for Social Security. But for people who are able to continue working until at least their full retirement age, if not longer, it pays to wait.

I’m Bill Lamb, and that’s my Point of View.

WDRB President and General Manager