Withdrawing Your Early Social Security Benefit

Did you elect to take Social Security benefits before your full retirement age? If you did and are now looking for extra income, there may be an answer. Once you reach full retirement age, you can pay back the money you have received and reapply for full retirement benefits.Although you can collect Social Security benefits between age 62 and your full retirement age, if you do, your benefits will be lower. For example, if you were born in 1944 and decide to retire and start collecting social security benefits at age 62, four years before your full retirement age of 66, your total benefit reduction is 25 percent. If your full benefit was to be $1,000 a month, your reduced benefit will be $750.

A little-known provision of Social Security allows you to withdraw your application for early benefits and reapply for your full benefits. The catch is that you must be able to pay back all the money you received so far. However, because you do not have to pay any interest on the benefits you received, if you can find the money to repay the benefits, it may be worth it. You could think of it as an interest-free loan.

If this is something you’re interested in exploring, you should contact your financial advisor and/or your CPA to determine if this option might make sense for your specific situation.

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About Evan H Farr, CELA, CAP

Evan H. Farr is a 4-time Best-Selling author in the field of Elder Law and Estate Planning. In addition to being one of approximately 500 Certified Elder Law Attorneys in the Country, Evan is one of approximately 100 members of the Council of Advanced Practitioners of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and is a Charter Member of the Academy of Special Needs Planners.

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