Should I Switch To My Own Record At Age 66 Or At Age 70?

Mar 29 2017 - 7:30am

I am currently getting SSA survivor's benefits ($1173/mo) based on my late husband's SSA account. I am 65 and will turn 66 this August. I also receive a pension from the state of NC. I currently have credit card debt ($17,000 w/$130/mo interest), a car payment ($400/mo) and a mortgage payment $1080/mo). The credit card debt came from moving expenses and pet medical expenses. It is getting harder each month to stay on budget because I have not received a pension raise for the past 5 years. SO I am trying to decide whether to start drawing on my individual SSA account ($2020/mo estimated) this August or to wait until I turn 70 ($2666/mo estimated). I do not have any other sources of income at this time. Thanks for any help you can give me...


Your likely best strategy would be to wait until age 70 to switch to your own record. However, deciding when to file for benefits is a personal decision, so you must ultimately use your own best judgment. Keep in mind that based on your figures, if you file at age 66 you will be gaining $847 (i.e. $2020 - $1173) per month for just 4 years, at the expense of receiving $646 (i.e. $2666 - $2020) less per month for as long as you live beyond age 70.

Best, Jerry