Preparing for Social Security – A 7-Point Checklist

Think you may finally be ready to collect Social Security retirement benefits? Don't neglect any of these steps.
By Ollie Geiger

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Couple prepares for Social SecurityDo you remember your first paycheck? If you looked closely at the stub, you may have observed — perhaps grudgingly — that the government had withheld some of your pay for something called Social Security.

It probably seemed it would be an eternity before you’d see that money again.

But now here you are, wondering whether it’s finally time to claim your Social Security retirement benefits. Choosing when to begin drawing Social Security can be a complex decision, as there are many variables that can impact the amount of money you receive over your retirement. An ill-considered move could cost you thousands.

While it’s challenging to select the right time to start collecting, it can be all too easy to choose the wrong time. If you answer “no” to any of the questions on the following checklist before applying for your benefits, you may be doing just that.

About Author
Ollie Geiger is a freelance writer who writes about financial technology and consumer banking.