Sunday, September 2, 2012

Should I Take Early Retirement?

People who cannot work, who are approaching or have reached age 62, regularly contact me to ask if they should take early retirement from Social Security. If the medical reason why you cannot work is not life threatening, then it usually makes sense to avoid early retirement. However, rather than comparing the benefits of early versus normal Social Security retirement, you should consider the possibility of Social Security Disability (”SSD”) if a medical condition prevents you from working.

If you are found disabled, your SSD benefits should be paid at the higher "full retirement age" rate, instead of the discounted "early retirement" rate. I have found that when people pursue SSD and early retirement, the SSD application tends to be denied, which is why I usually advice against seeking the latter. Moreover, when both benefits are sought, the applications take much longer than usual to get processed.

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