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Should You Claim Your Social Security Benefits Right Now or Wait?

If you are retiring soon or have already done so, you're going to need to decide what to do about Social Security. You don't have to claim benefits just because you leave work. You can file for checks any time between age 62 and 70. So, is it the right time for you to begin your benefits? Here's what you should consider to make this important choice. When is your full retirement age, and how old are you now? The most important thing to know before claiming Social Security is what your full retirement age (FRA) is and how your FRA compares to your current age. Your full retirement age is set by the Social Security Administration. Here's what yours is, based on when you were born: It's 66 if you were born between 1943 and 1954. It's 66 and two months if you were born in 1955. It's 66 and four months if you were born in 1956. It's 66 and six months if you were born in 1957. It's 66 and eight months if you were born in 1958. It's 66 and 10 months if you were born in 1959. It's 67 if you were born in 1960 or later. You can claim benefits at exactly this age to get your standard benefit, which is also called your primary insurance amount (PIA). Your PIA equals a percentage of average wages calculated by taking into account your 35 highest earning years. But most people do not claim benefits at exactly their FRA. If you're thinking of claiming early, you should know early filing penalties will permanently reduce your standard benefit by 5/9 of 1% for up to 36 months. Beyond that, benefits are further reduced 5/12 of 1% per month. So for someone with a FRA of 67, the penalty would reduce their monthly benefit a maximum of 30%. On the flip side, claiming after your FRA earns you delayed filing credits until age 70 that will permanently increase your benefit. Your check will go up 2/3 of 1% per month you delay beyond FRA, which adds up to an 8% annual benefits increase. How much other savings do you have? Social Security alone isn't going to be enough to support you, since benefits only replace around 40% of preretirement income. That means you need a plan with other sources of income before claiming. If you haven't calculated the income your savings or pension will provide to make sure you have enough funds to live on, you may want to put off starting Social Security. Of course, it is possible to work while getting retirement benefits. But if you have not hit FRA yet, won't reach FRA at any time during the year, and work while getting benefits, you forfeit $1 in Social Security payments for every $2 earned above $19,560 in 2022. And if you will hit FRA at some time during the year but you work before it, you will lose $1 for every $3 earned above $51,960. There's not much advantage to claiming benefits if you have to work to supplement them, and you earn enough to lose a good portion of that retirement income. How is your health? Your health matters a lot when deciding when to start your checks too. If you put off a claim for benefits, you give up checks you're entitled to in hopes of getting enough money later on to make up for the missed income. But if you are not in good health, you do risk passing away before you collect many payments (or any at all). In those cases, filing early for Social Security makes sense to maximize the total lifetime value of your benefits. How will your choice affect your spouse? Finally, you should think about your spouse. If you are the higher earner, your partner could keep getting your checks after you pass away in the form of survivor benefits. These might be higher than their own retirement benefits, but if you've claimed your benefits early and incurred the resulting penalties, this will leave your partner with less income each month. By taking all these factors into account, you can decide whether you should file right away or put off your claim so you can increase your benefits and any survivor benefits your spouse may end up collecting as well. The $18,984 Social Security bonus most retirees completely overlook If you're like most Americans, you're a few years (or more) behind on your retirement savings. But a handful of little-known "Social Security secrets" could help ensure a boost in your retirement income. For example: one easy trick could pay you as much as $18,984 more... each year! Once you learn how to maximize your Social Security benefits, we think you could retire confidently with the peace of mind we're all after. Simply click here to discover how to learn more about these strategies. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc. Founded in 1993 in Alexandria, VA., by brothers David and Tom Gardner, The Motley Fool is a multimedia financial-services company dedicated to building the world's greatest investment community. Reaching millions of people each month through its website, books, newspaper column, radio show, television appearances, and subscription newsletter services, The Motley Fool champions shareholder values and advocates tirelessly for the individual investor. The company's name was taken from Shakespeare, whose wise fools both instructed and amused, and could speak the truth to the king -- without getting their heads lopped off. Today’s Big Picture Asia-Pacific equity indexes ended today’s session down across the board. India’s Sensex ended the day essentially flat, down 0.06%, China’s Shanghai Composite and Australia’s ASX All Ordinaries declined 0.54% and 0.55%, respectively while Japan’s Nikkei fell 0.65%, Taiwan’s TAIEX dropped 0.74% and South Korea’s KOSPI declined 0.90%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng led the way, down 1.96% on a broad selloff led by Health Technology and Health Services names while Transportation and Communications sectors provided the only relief. By mid-day trading, major European equity indices are down across the board and U.S. futures point to a positive open later this morning. At 8:30 AM ET, the much anticipated July Consumer Price Index (CPI) report was released: The headline figure for the month was expected to fall to 8.7% from June’s blistering 9.1% reading with core CPI that excludes food and energy ticking higher to 6.1% in July vs. 6.0% the prior month. The actual numbers show that inflation hit 8.5%, and core inflation was 5.9%. With the national average retail price for a gallon of gas falling through late June and July from its June 14 high of $5.016 per gallon per data from AAA, forecasters had expected the month over month decline in the headline CPI for July. The July Employment Report also showed wage inflation ran hotter than expected during the month. Let’s also keep in mind that we will be facing a “wash, rinse, repeat” cycle when it comes to inflation data and expectations for the Fed given tomorrow’s July Producer Price Index report. Data Download International Economy Producer prices in Japan rose by 8.6% YoY in July, compared with market forecasts of 8.4% and following an upwardly revised 9.4% the prior month. While marking the 17th straight month of producer inflation, the latest reading was the softest since last December. China's annual inflation rate rose to 2.7% in July from 2.5% in June and compared with market forecasts of 2.9% but even so the July figure marked the highest reading in the last year. The country’s Producer Price Inflation figure for July eased to a 17-month low of 4.2% YoY from 6.1% the prior month and less than the market consensus of 4.8%. Annual inflation rate in Germany was confirmed at 7.5% YoY for the month of July, down slightly from June’s 7.6% reading but still above the March and April figures of 7.3%-7.4%. The annual inflation rate in Italy slowed to 7.9% YoY in July from June’s 8% reading matching expectations for the month. While energy prices declined, prices for food and transportation rose at a faster pace. Domestic Economy This morning we have the usual Wednesday weekly reports for MBA Mortgage Applications and Crude Oil Inventories from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. At 10 AM ET, Wholesale Inventories for June will be published, and the figure is expected to rise 1.9%. While investors and economists will keep more than a passing interest in those reports and data, as we discussed above, it will be the July Consumer Price Index report at 8:30 AM ET that will shape not only how the US stock market opens today, but also expectations for the Fed’s next course of monetary policy action. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects domestic production of crude oil, natural gas and coal will all increase next year compared with this year. It forecast US crude production rising 6.7% to an all-time annual high 12.7M bbl/day in 2023 from 11.9M bbl/day in 2022, US natural gas output climbing to 100B cubic feet (cf)/day from 97B cf/day, and US coal production inching up to 601M short tons in 2023 from an expected 599M this year. The EIA also modestly increased its 2022 average nationwide gasoline price forecast to $4.07/GALLON vs. $4.05 if called for last month. It now also sees 2023 prices at $3.59/gal vs. its previous forecast of $3.57. Markets Stocks continued in their holding pattern waiting for the latest CPI print save for some fundamental stories pushing Technology names and small caps around. The Dow and the S&P 500 were down slightly at 0.18% and 0.42%, respectively while the Nasdaq Composite dropped 1.19% and the Russell 2000 closed down 1.46% on the day. Energy names led the way yesterday but were overpowered by Technology and Consumer Discretionary sectors. Here’s how the major market indicators stack up year-to-date: Dow Jones Industrial Average: -9.81% S&P 500: -13.51% Nasdaq Composite: -20.14% Russell 2000: -15.83% Bitcoin (BTC-USD): -52.08% Ether (ETH-USD): -55.38% Stocks to Watch Before trading kicks off, CyberArk (CYBR), Fox Corp. (FOXA), Jack in the Box (JACK), Nomad Foods (NOMD), Vita Coco (COCO), Tufin Software (TUFN), and Wendy’s (WEN) will be among the companies issuing their latest quarterly results and guidance. At 9 AM ET, Samsung (SSNLF) will hold its Galaxy Unpacked 2022 at which it is expected to introduce new Galaxy foldable smartphone models, a new Galaxy Watch, and Galaxy Buds. Shares of advertising technology platform company The Trade Desk (TTD) jumped after the company reported quarterly results that topped expectations and guided current quarter revenue above the consensus forecast. The RealReal (REAL) reported a smaller than expected bottom line loss for its June quarter as revenue for the period rose 47.2% YoY to %154.44 million, topping the $153.99 million consensus. However, the company issued downside guidance for both the current quarter and 2022. Revenue for the September quarter is now expected to be $145-$155 million vs. the $164.3 million consensus; for the full year of 2022, revenue is forecasted to be $615-$635 million vs. the $653.7 million consensus. Shares of Coinbase Global (COIN) moved lower after it reported June quarter results that missed top and bottom line expectations. Revenue for the quarter fell 63.7% YoY as Total trading volume fell 53.0% YoY and 29.8% sequentially to $217 billion. Monthly Transacting Users (MTUs) grew 2.3% YoY but fell 2.2% sequentially to 9.0 million. For the current quarter, Coinbase sees the number of MTUs trending lower sequentially and total trading volume to be lower compared to the June quarter. Shares of Sweetgreen (SG) tumbled in aftermarket trading last night after the company missed quarterly revenue expectations, lowered its 2022 forecast, announced it will lay off 5% of its workforce, and downsize to smaller offices. ChipMOS TECHNOLOGIES (IMOS) reported its July revenue was $65.1 million, a decrease of 19.4% YoY and down 7.7% MoM. Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM) reported its July revenue increased 49.9% YoY to NT$186.76 billion, which equates to a 6.2% MoM improvement. Electric vehicle subscription startup Autonomy placed a $1.2 billion order for 23K electric vehicles with 17 global automakers, including BMW (BMWYY), Canoo (GOEV), Fisker (FSR), Ford (F), General Motors (GM), Hyundai (HYMTF), Lucid Group (LCID), Mercedes-Benz (DDAIF), Polestar (PSNY), Rivian (RIVN), Stellantis (STLA), Subaru (FUJHY), Tesla (TSLA), Toyota Motor (TM), VinFast, Volvo Car (VLVOF) and Volkswagen (VLKAF). IPOs As of now, no IPOs are slated to be priced this week. Readers looking to dig more into the upcoming IPO calendar should visit Nasdaq’s Latest & Upcoming IPOs page. After Today’s Market Close Bumble (BMBL), CACI International (CACI), Coherent (COHR), Dutch Bros. (BROS), Red Robin Gourmet (RRGB), and Walt Disney (DIS) are expected to report their quarterly results after equities stop trading today. Those looking for more on which companies are reporting when, head on over to Nasdaq’s Earnings Calendar. On the Horizon Thursday, August 11 Germany: Thomson Reuters Ipsos Monthly Global Primary Consumer Sentiment Index - August US: Weekly Initial & Continuing Jobless Claims US: Producer Price Index – July US: Weekly EIA Natural Gas Inventories Friday, August 12 Japan: Thomson Reuters Ipsos Monthly Global Primary Consumer Sentiment Index - August China: China Thomson Reuters Ipsos Monthly Global Primary Consumer Sentiment Index - August Eurozone: Industrial Production - June US: Import/Export Prices – July US: University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index (Preliminary) – August Thought for the Day “The release date is just one day, but the record is forever.” ~ Bruce Springsteen Disclosures Tufin Software (TUFN), CyberArk (CYBR) are constituents of the Foxberry Tematica Research Cybersecurity & Data Privacy Index Canoo (GOEV), Fisker (FSR), Lucid Group (LCID), Rivian (RIVN), Tesla (TSLA), Vita Coco (COCO) are constituents of the Tematica BITA Cleaner Living Index Canoo (GOEV), Fisker (FSR), Lucid Group (LCID), Rivian (RIVN), Tesla (TSLA), Vita Coco (COCO) are constituents of the Tematica BITA Cleaner Living Sustainability Screened Index The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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