National Council of La Raza highlights benefits of waiting to collect Social Security

WASHINGTON, April 21, 2015 — Latinos in the United States are living longer than ever. In fact, Hispanic Americans have higher life expectancies than their Black and White counterparts. With the good fortune of living longer comes the indispensable need to prepare for a longer retirement. Social Security provides critical economic security to retirees who contribute part of their earnings to the system over their working lives.

However, because about two-thirds of Latinos work for companies that do not offer a retirement plan, Latinos are more likely than other seniors to rely on Social Security as their sole source of retirement income. Eager to collect their hard-earned benefits, many workers do not realize that waiting to collect Social Security may be the best way to maximize their money.

“One reason why Social Security is such an important piece of the puzzle when it comes to planning for retirement is that these benefits last for life,” said Eric Rodriguez, Vice President of the Office of Research, Advocacy and Legislation at NCLR (National Council of La Raza). “Unfortunately, many don’t realize that they could be getting a bigger paycheck if they simply held off on collecting Social Security. For many Latinos who rely exclusively on Social Security to stay out of poverty, the bottom line is that waiting is worth it.”

Even though the full retirement age is 67, workers are allowed to begin collecting Social Security retirement benefits as early as 62. The catch is that those who collect benefits early will have their monthly benefits reduced. Those who wait to collect will see their benefits increase up to 8 percent every year after age 62.

Workers have the option to begin collecting at full retirement age or can wait until age 70 to begin collecting, boosting their monthly payments higher. For example, a worker who makes $27,000 per year will earn a monthly benefit of $750 if he begins collecting at age 62, $1,000 if he collects at the full retirement age of 67 or $1,320 if he waits until age 70.

For more information about how to maximize your Social Security benefits, please read the NCLR brochure “It Pays to Wait” (“Vale la pena esperar”)