Retirement expert: Here's a 'neat thing you can do' if you take Social Security early
When it comes to getting social security benefits, do it when you need it, an expert recently shared with Yahoo Finance Live, even if it means getting benefits early.
There is an out when you decide you made a mistake.
"There's one nice thing you can do about Social Security and that is, you can take it by 62 ... and you essentially have a year to change your mind," said Ken Moraif, Senior Retirement Planner from Retirement Planners of America.
Read more: How to get your retirement savings going again
But don't feel guilty about contacting Social Security early on if you've suffered a major financial setback like an unforeseen vacation or unemployment.
"Rule number one, if you need the money, you have to take it," he said. "If you need the money and your income is lower than where it was or your prospects are no longer where they used to be, take Social Security at 62."
Moraif recommends using more conservative investment practices in times of economic uncertainty or fragile employment situations. (Photo: Getty)
Think of the money as an “interest and tax free loan”. When your source of income recovers, the money can be repaid using the Social Security Special Withdrawal, Moraif said.
"As long as you pay back everything, which isn't easy for everyone, but when you find yourself back in work, you can pay it back, and then you can back up Social Security and get it when you are 66 or 70, ”he said.
The essence of retirement planning is risk and trying to predict the unpredictable. Therefore, Moraif advises that the risk should be appropriate to your age and when you will need money.
"The level of risk that is appropriate for you depends on the time or horizon of risk for you," he said. "If you need your money now because you've lost your job or your income is lower, you need to think about how aggressive you should be with your investments."
Moraif recommends using more conservative investment practices in times of economic uncertainty or fragile employment situations. After a rebound, "you can become more aggressive again because you have a longer-term horizon."
"You don't want your money to be at risk in a downturn if you make a living on it," he said. "That's not a good idea."
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Stephanie is a reporter for Yahoo Money and Cashay, a new personal finance website. Follow her on Twitter @SJAsymkos.
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