Many people make the mistake of taking Social Security as soon as possible rather than their normal retirement age.  This can have a huge negative financial impact if you live a long life.  If you are in good health, most financial planners tell you to wait until you are 70 years old in order to maximize your benefits.  The Wall Street Journal regularly writes a report on various financial questions, one of the latest from a 64 year-old who was planning on waiting until she turned 68 before filing for Social Security.  However, she is thinking of taking it now because the huge cost-of-living (COLA) increase which will likely come next January.  Glenn Reffenach of the Journal wrote, “Not to worry.  Actually you already are qualifying for these adjustments.  The Social Security Administration on its website spells out how a person’s benefits are calculated and how COLAs, in specific, fit into that calculation.  Here’s the wording:

You are eligible for cost-of-living benefit increases starting with the year you turn age 62.  This is true even if you don’t get benefits until your full retirement age or age 70.”

In essence, your Social Security benefit is recalculated each year even if you haven’t filed for benefits yet.

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