Pros and Cons of Waiting Until 70 to Claim Social Security

Waiting until 70 to file for Social Security benefits comes with a higher check, but there could be financial consequences to consider for you and your family.

An older man looks out the window at home.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Most Americans have about an eight-year window to claim Social Security Benefits, with eligibility beginning at age 62 and lasting until 70. But there are financial pros and cons that need to be weighed before you start collecting your checks. That’s because the federal government offers certain incentives to those who wait, while temporarily penalizing those who claim early.

If you choose to claim Social Security benefits at 62, your benefits will be reduced indefinitely. However, you're entitled to full benefits once you reach your full retirement age (FRA), which is dependent on the year you were born. This allows you to maximize your benefits by adding roughly 8% to your monthly checks for each year you delay until you turn 70.

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Patrick M. Simasko, J.D.
Partner, Simasko Law

Patrick M. Simasko is an elder law attorney and financial adviser at Simasko Law and Simasko Financial, specializing in elder law and wealth preservation. He’s also an Elder Law Professor at Michigan State University School of Law. His self-effacing character, style and ability have garnered him prominence and recognition throughout the metro Detroit area as well as the entire state.