-Some people believe you have to start claiming Social Security benefits at age 62. That's a myth: 62 is the earliest age you can claim your benefit, but it’s not the only age to do so.
-Waiting to claim Social Security after age 62 comes with a bonus: roughly 8% additional monthly income per year for each year you delay claiming (up to age 70).
-If you're divorced and meet certain conditions, you're entitled either to your own Social Security benefit or to 50% of your ex’s Social Security benefit, whichever is higher.
Understanding how Social Security benefits work can be a challenge: There are a lot of rules, the formulas can seem complex, and making decisions with incomplete or incorrect information could end up costing you. That's why it's important to work with financial professionals to develop a Social Security claiming strategy for your overall retirement income plan.
Before you make decisions about claiming this valuable benefit, let's clear up 5 of the most common myths about Social Security that could undermine your ability to generate the income you’ll need in retirement to live the life you want.
Myth #1: You must claim your Social Security benefit at age 62
Some people think you have to start claiming your Social Security benefits at age 62. That's a myth: 62 is the earliest age you can claim your benefit, but it's not the only age to do so.
Your base benefit is calculated according to your "full retirement age," or FRA, and your FRA is determined by your date of birth. The Social Security Administration (SSA) calculates your base Social Security benefit based on your average indexed monthly earnings during the 35 years in which you earned the most (only the years that you paid Social Security taxes).