The Best Time To Start Collecting Social Security

In a Nutshell: The best time to start collecting Social Security might be as early as age 62 for individuals who can invest these benefits, potentially yielding higher returns than waiting for increased benefits.


  • Starting Social Security at 62 and investing in the benefits might yield greater returns than waiting for increased benefits.
  • Understanding how income impacts taxes on Social Security benefits is crucial for optimal benefit collection.

Strategic Timing for Social Security Benefits

Social Security, a cornerstone of retirement planning, often presents a perplexing question: what is the best time to start collecting?

Financial expert Dave Ramsey provides a unique stance that challenges traditional advice when deciding the optimal time to start collecting Social Security. 

On The Ramsey Show, Ramsey, known for his straightforward financial guidance and best-selling books, delved into this topic, offering insights beyond the usual recommendations.

The Early Investment Strategy

Ramsey’s approach upends the common suggestion to delay Social Security for increased benefits.

Ramsey suggests that the best time to start collecting Social Security might be at 62 for those who don’t need immediate access, advising them to invest the entirety.

This method, he explains, can potentially yield greater returns than the additional amount gained by delaying benefits.

The strategy reflects a proactive mindset, focusing on long-term investment growth.

Navigating Tax Implications

Understanding how taxes interact with Social Security benefits, especially for those earning an income while receiving benefits, is crucial, Ramsey points out. 

He urges listeners to consider their specific financial situations, as the interplay of income and benefits can significantly impact the net amount received. 

This advice goes beyond just maximizing benefits; it’s about strategically determining the best time to collect them in the context of one’s overall financial picture.

A Candid Critique of the Social Security System

Ramsey doesn’t hold back in his critique of the Social Security system. 

Describing it as a “mathematical disaster” with a negative rate of return, he argues that individuals would be better off investing their Social Security contributions themselves. 

This critical viewpoint reflects Ramsey’s broader philosophy: skepticism of government-managed retirement programs and advocacy for financial self-reliance.

Ramsey’s discussion transcends typical financial advice, emphasizing the importance of making informed, individualized decisions. 

He encourages listeners to follow conventional wisdom and understand how Social Security can be tailored to their unique financial scenarios. 

His insights prompt a reevaluation of retirement planning, urging a shift from passive acceptance to active financial management.

Rethinking Retirement

In summary, Ramsey’s insights on when to start collecting Social Security serve as a call to rethink traditional retirement planning. 

His advice highlights the importance of contextual financial decisions and the empowerment that comes with informed planning. 

As Ramsey’s discussion on his show illustrates, the key to navigating Social Security is knowing the rules and how to apply them to one’s financial narrative strategically. 

This perspective not only offers a nuanced take on a familiar topic but also serves as a reminder of the empowering role of financial literacy in shaping one’s future.

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