Social Security retirement benefits can start between age 62 and 70, but you have to make a decision about when to claim them.
Once you’ve filed for benefits, options for changing your mind are limited — so you don’t want to make the wrong decision. Before you ask the Social Security Administration to start sending your checks, there are five key tasks you should check off your to-do list.
1. Check your earnings record
The 35 years when you earned the most money are used to determine the amount of your Social Security benefit. The SSA reviews your earnings record, adjusts wages for inflation, determines your average monthly earnings, and gives you benefits equaling a percent of them.
You don’t want your earnings history to be incorrect because your record has errors, nor do you want years of $0 wages included in your average because you