Share
Retirement Series: When to Claim Social Security

Retirement Series: When to Claim Social Security: Informed Retirement Decisions

This workshop primarily is intended for adults who are nearing retirement and are exploring when to stop working full time and start collecting their Social Security benefits. Younger audience members may be considering an early retirement and wondering how various work and life circumstances will affect the amount of Social Security retirement benefits they will receive and how this decision will affect their retirement paycheck.

You will walk participants through the basics of determining their optimal age to begin receiving Social Security benefits, given their unique set of financial and life circumstances. This workshop focuses on guiding participants to accurately project their monthly benefits and to understand how various elements of their life situations — as well as decisions they make — will impact both their Social Security payments and their broader financial situation in retirement. This workshop also directs participants to free, credible resources to answer any questions they may have about Social Security as they draw closer to retirement and provides participants with the tools to outline their own Action Plan to receive Social Security retirement benefits.

The following topics are addressed in the Informed Retirement Decisions: When to Claim Social Security workshop:

  • How Social Security retirement benefits are calculated
  • Factors that increase or decrease Social Security retirement benefits
  • Common situations to consider before deciding to claim Social Security benefits

Workshop Materials

You must agree to the terms of the Content License Agreement below to access the materials. Once the materials are downloaded, they may be used as-is or customized to best meet your needs.


The PowerPoint presentation is customizable and can help you facilitate a discussion about retirement decision making for your participants.

Download a facilitator guide that will lead you through your presentation.

The Workshop Packet includes an Action Plan for participants as well as worksheets, handouts, scenarios, activities and other resources referred to throughout the workshop.

Feeling unsure about your presentation? FAQs will help answer your questions about working with your intended audience.

FAQs

Who will be attending the workshop?

This workshop primarily is intended for adults in their 50s and early 60s who are nearing retirement and are exploring when to stop working full time and start collecting their Social Security benefits. Younger audience members may be considering an early retirement and wondering how various work and life circumstances will affect the amount of Social Security retirement benefits they will receive and how this decision will affect their retirement paycheck.

What are the learning outcomes of this workshop?

Participants will use what they learn in this workshop to determine the optimal age to begin receiving Social Security benefits based on their personal circumstances. They will demonstrate achievement of the competency by outlining a plan to begin receiving Social Security benefits. Participants will address the following learning objectives as they master the competency.

  • Explain how Social Security benefits are calculated.
  • Describe factors that reduce or increase Social Security benefits.
  • Discuss common situations to consider before deciding when to claim benefits.

How will I know that participants have achieved the target outcomes?

Participants will know that they have achieved the learning objectives when they have done the following:

  • Created a personal online account at www.ssa.gov/myaccount.
  • Reviewed a current Social Security statement.
  • Identified the date of their own Full Retirement Age (FRA).
  • Predicted Social Security benefits at FRA based on their current and anticipated circumstances.
  • Summarized the earned income limitations and income tax liability implications of starting benefits early or delaying them.
  • Selected an ideal Social Security claiming date based on their own values and life situation.
  • Predicted three possible circumstances that might impact their Social Security claiming date.
  • Identified ways to fill any gaps between their projected monthly Social Security benefits and their monthly financial obligations.

Can I share my own experiences during this workshop?

When it comes to talking about money, sharing your own successes and challenges will make the workshop much more engaging — and valuable — for participants. It makes the points you’re discussing come alive, reassures them that they are not alone in having questions and concerns, and encourages them to share their own experiences, which can be equally valuable to other participants.

Keep in mind that participants may feel self-conscious about their financial situation or some of the choices they’ve made, so include a statement in your opening that these workshops are a judgment-free zone and that there is no single right or wrong answer — it depends on the person’s situation and values. The aim of this workshop is to empower individuals to make decisions that work for them and align with their values and needs, which might not look like everyone else’s.

Family Money Skills

Help low-literacy families gain the critical life skills needed to make smart financial choices.

Download Workshop

Money Management for Adult Learners

Help adult learners identify ways to make continuing education an affordable way to better their life.

Download Workshop

Rebuilding Financially After Domestic Violence

Help domestic violence victims build a financial foundation and make plans for the future.

Download Workshop

Working Women

Designed to give newly-employed women basic information on how to make sound financial decisions.

Download Workshop