May 2, 2017

CFPB: Thinking About When You’ll Claim Social Security Benefits Is Time Well Spent

How much will you receive from Social Security when you claim your retirement benefits? If you don’t know, you’re not alone. According to a recent study , one in five people are guessing how much their Social Security retirement benefit will be each month.

As it turns out, your prediction might be off by quite a bit. According to a financial literacy paper , thirty percent of Americans couldn’t even guess the amount of their monthly benefit, even though most of them were less than two years away from being eligible to claim Social Security. Another working paper found that 82 percent of pre-retirees don’t understand how the age at which they claim will permanently affect the amount of money they will collect each month for the rest of their life.

Here are several reasons why you shouldn’t guess your Social Security benefit amount.

Why guess your benefit amount when you can estimate when the right time is for you to begin claiming them? Our Planning for Retirement tool will help you estimate your monthly benefit amount at different ages. You can shift back and forth between the different ages as you navigate your decision to start receiving benefits. Begin planning with our retirement tool or check out Ask CFPB for more information for older Americans.

If you’d like to learn more about some of the research we included in this blog post, take a look at our snapshot on older consumers and mortgage debt .

This post was originally published here.