Confirm you would like to unsubscribe from this list

Don't save

Remove strategy

Confirm you would like to remove this strategy from your list

Welcome to Thornburg

Please select your location and role to help personalize the site.
Please review our Terms & Conditions

For Institutional / Wholesale / Professional Clients

The content on this website is intended for institutional and professional investors in the United States only and is not suitable for individual investors or non-U.S. entities. Institutional and professional investors include pension funds, investment companies registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940, financial intermediaries, consultants, endowments and foundations, and investment advisors registered under the Investment Advisors Act of 1940.


Please read the information below. By accessing this web site of Thornburg Investment Management, Inc. ("Thornburg" or "we"), you acknowledge that you understand and accept the following terms and conditions of use.


Products or services mentioned on this site are subject to legal and regulatory requirements in applicable jurisdictions and may not be licensed or available in all jurisdictions and there may be restrictions or limitations to whom this information may be made available. Unless otherwise indicated, no regulator or government authority has reviewed the information or the merits of the products and services referenced herein. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. Investments carry risks, including possible loss of principal.

Reference to a fund or security anywhere on this website is not a recommendation to buy, sell or hold that or any other security. The information is not a complete analysis of every material fact concerning any market, industry, or investment, nor is it intended to predict the performance of any investment or market.

All opinions and estimates included on this website constitute judgements of Thornburg as at the date of this website and are subject to change without notice.

All information and contents of this website are furnished "as is." Data has been obtained from sources considered reliable, but Thornburg makes no representation as to the completeness or accuracy of such information and has no obligation to provide updates or changes. Thornburg disclaims, to the fullest extent of the law, any implied or express warranty of any kind, including without limitation the implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose and non-infringement.

If you live in a state that does not allow disclaimers of implied warranties, our disclaimer may not apply to you.

Although Thornburg intends the information contained in this website to be accurate and reliable, errors sometimes occur. Thornburg does not warrant that the information to be free of errors, that the functions contained in the site will be uninterrupted, that defects will be corrected or that the site and servers are free from viruses or other harmful components. You agree that you are responsible for the means you use to access this website and understand that your hardware, software, the Internet, your Internet service provider, and other third parties involved in connecting you to our website may not perform as intended or desired. We also disclaim responsibility for damages third parties may cause to you through the use of this website, whether intentional or unintentional. For example, you understand that hackers could breach our security procedures, and that we will not be responsible for any related damages.

Thornburg Investment Management, Inc. is regulated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange under U.S. laws which may differ materially from laws in other jurisdictions.

Online Privacy and Cookie Policy

Please review our Online Privacy and Cookie Policy, which is hereby incorporated by reference as part of these terms and conditions.

Third Party Content

Certain website's content has been obtained from sources that Thornburg believes to be reliable as of the date presented but Thornburg cannot guarantee the accuracy, timeliness, completeness, or suitability for use of such content. The content does not take into account individual investor's circumstances, objectives or needs. The content is not intended as an offer or solicitation with respect to the purchase or sale of any security or other financial instrument or any investment management services, nor does it constitute investment advice and should not be used as the basis for any investment decision.


No determination has been made regarding the suitability of any securities, financial instruments or strategies for any investor. The website's content is provided on the basis and subject to the explanations, caveats and warnings set out in this notice and elsewhere herein. The website's content does not purport to provide any legal, tax or accounting advice. Any discussion of risk management is intended to describe Thornburg's efforts to monitor and manage risk but does not imply low risk.

Limited License and Restrictions on Use

Except as otherwise stated in these terms of use or as expressly authorized by Thornburg in writing, you may not:

  • Modify, copy, distribute, transmit, post, display, perform, reproduce, publish, broadcast, license, create derivative works from, transfer, sell, or exploit any reports, data, information, content, software, RSS and podcast feeds, products, services, or other materials (collectively, "Materials") on, generated by or obtained from this website, whether through links or otherwise;
  • Redeliver any page, text, image or Materials on this website using "framing" or other technology;
  • Engage in any conduct that could damage, disable, or overburden (i) this website, (ii) any Materials or services provided through this website, or (iii) any systems, networks, servers, or accounts related to this website, including without limitation, using devices or software that provide repeated automated access to this website, other than those made generally available by Thornburg;
  • Probe, scan, or test the vulnerability of any Materials, services, systems, networks, servers, or accounts related to this website or attempt to gain unauthorized access to Materials, services, systems, networks, servers, or accounts connected or associated with this website through hacking, password or data mining, or any other means of circumventing any access-limiting, user authentication or security device of any Materials, services, systems, networks, servers, or accounts related to this website; or
  • Modify, copy, obscure, remove or display the Thornburg name, logo, trademarks, notices or images without Thornburg's express written permission. To obtain such permission, you may e-mail us at info@thornburg.com.

Severability, Governing Law

Failure by Thornburg to enforce any provision(s) of these terms and conditions shall not be construed as a waiver of any provision or right. This website is controlled and operated by Thornburg from its offices in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The laws of the State of New Mexico govern these terms and conditions. If you take legal action relating to these terms and conditions, you agree to file such action only in state or federal court in New Mexico and you consent and submit to the personal jurisdiction of those courts for the purposes of litigating any such action.


You acknowledge and agree that Thornburg may restrict, suspend or terminate these terms and conditions or your access to, and use, of the all or any part this website, including any links to third-party sites, at any time, with or without cause, including but not limited to any breach of these terms and conditions, in Thornburg's absolute discretion and without prior notice or liability.

Give Us a Call

Fund Operations

Man kayaking down waterfall, elevated view
Advising Clients

A Deep Dive into Social Security

Jan Blakeley Holman, CFP, CIMA, ChFC, CDFA, CFS, GFS
Director of Advisor Education
8 Feb 2022
15 min listen

Jan explains when the best time to claim social security benefits may be; why it makes sense to claim them as soon as possible; and the reasons people wait to collect.

Read Transcript

A Deep Dive into Social Security

Hollis Walker: This is #NowMe, a podcast for financial advisors and their clients. Hello, I’m Hollis Walker with Jan Blakeley Holman, director of adviser education at Thornburg Investment Management. Welcome back. Thanks for joining us for another episode of #NowMe. On a recent #NowMe podcast, we discussed Social Security and at the end of that podcast, we agreed to dig deeper on that topic. Jan are you still game?

Jan Blakeley Holman: Absolutely Hollis.

Hollis Walker: Okay, then let’s go. To refresh everyone’s memories, when we discussed Social Security, you told us that even though the number of people retiring in the 12 months ending September 2021 had increased dramatically, the number of retirees claiming Social Security had declined. So, my first question is: what should we know about Social Security retirement benefits before making a decision about whether or not to claim them?

Jan Blakeley Holman: Well, that’s a great place to start, Hollis. I should also say that the great resignation continues. In November, 4.5 million people left their jobs. That was above the 4.2 million people who quit in October. So, not only are people still leaving jobs, but people are still retiring, people are still looking at Social Security, and I think we have to talk about claiming, as you said. In order to do that, let me back up a little bit and I think we need to review some of the rules relating to taking a retirement benefit from Social Security. I should preface this by saying, to make it easy to understand, we’re gonna focus on someone who’s been employed and who’s paid into the system. So, the first point is that any individual born after 1929 is eligible to claim a Social Security retirement benefit once they have paid into the system and have accumulated 40 credits. Now, what’s consistent with how Social Security works is that 40 credits is the same as 40 quarters, but of course, Congress couldn’t make it 40 quarters, they wanted to make it more complicated. So, individuals who stop working and begin again retain the credits they have in the system. That’s the first point. Your retirement benefit in Social Security is based on how much you’ve earned over the course of your credited working career. The age you decide to retire affects the amount of your benefit. Age 62 is the earliest possible retirement age. With Social Security, it’s important to understand that the earlier you claim your benefit the lower the benefit you will receive. There’s an expression in Social Security called full retirement age, and if you’re looking at your Social Security information at ssa.gov, which is the Social Security website, you’re gonna see that term: full retirement age, or FRA. Full retirement age is the age at which an individual becomes eligible for their full retirement benefit. Now, full retirement age applies to people born in 1943 or later. Full retirement age is the same for individuals who were born between 1943 and 1954, and then it increases each year between 1955 and 1960 and remains the same for those born after 1960. A lot of rules here. Regardless of an individual’s year of birth, Social Security benefits, as I said, can be claimed as early as age 62, but if you claim Social Security early, which is before your full retirement age, that benefit will be reduced and you will continue to receive that lower benefit for the rest of your life. Likewise, the longer an individual waits to claim their benefit after full retirement age, the higher the benefit will be. For example, let’s say a person was born in 1959. Their full retirement age is 66 years and 10 months. If they decide to claim their benefit at age 62, it’s going to be 29 percent less than they would have received at their full retirement age. Now, that’s a pretty healthy chunk of change. If that same individual decided not to claim their benefit until they’re older than their full retirement age, their benefit will increase 8 percent per year for the number of years they delay until they reach age 70.

Hollis Walker: Ooh, That’s a mouthful, Jan. So, that makes me wonder, knowing that you’d make more money in the long term if you postponed taking Social Security benefits, why would a person claim their Social Security benefit early, like at age 62?

Jan Blakeley Holman: Well, there are a number of reasons, and you know, some of these reasons are as individual as we are, but some of the biggies are the following. First of all, they may believe that Social Security is going to go bankrupt. Second, they wanna make sure that they collect the money they are owed. Another one, they face a current cashflow shortage and need another source of income. This might be particularly timely for people who find themselves out of work. Another one, they believe their own health issues or family health history indicates they’re gonna have a short life expectancy and they wanna claim their benefits as soon as possible for fear of missing out. Another reason, they anticipate spending more money in the early years of retirement when they may be more active, so they want that additional income right away. They are able to claim a spousal benefit to meet an immediate financial need, and as I said, we’re really focusing on people who earn Social Security, but it’s important to know another part of Social Security is spousal benefits that are paid to the spouses of people who have earned 40 credits, and that gets a little complicated. And the final reason is that they may have money invested in longer-term investments and they don’t wanna liquidate those investments. They wanna let them grow for the future and so they’ll take Social Security income right now.

Hollis Walker: Okay, this is getting a little clearer. How about the flip side of that decision. Why would an individual wait to claim Social Security benefits after reaching their full retirement age?

Jan Blakeley Holman: Well, this person might be the one who believes that Social Security is gonna remain solvent, which, as I said in our last podcast, I do. I tend to be optimistic about that. The person who waits may like the fact that their monthly benefit’s gonna increase if they delay, and it can increase, as I said, as much as 8 percent a year between full retirement age and age 70. These people are in good health. They have reasons to expect that they’re gonna live a long life and want to let that benefit grow. Another reason is that they plan to continue working and don’t have a reason right now to claim their Social Security benefit. The final reason is that they expect their spouse to live longer and they want him or her to receive the highest spousal benefit possible. The earlier the higher-earning spouse begins collecting their benefit the lower the benefit will be that is passed on to a surviving spouse.

Hollis Walker: Thanks Jan, that’s, that’s very helpful. There’s one other thing I’ve wondered about. In our first podcast about Social Security, we discussed the large number of people who retired in the 12 months that ended in September of 2021 and, as you pointed out, a lot more people have left their jobs since then, some of them retirees. So, what happens if a person retires, claims their Social Security benefit, and then decides to go back to work? I’m thinking some of those people who quit their jobs may change their minds. Can they tell Social Security to stop paying them and then later begin accruing their benefit again?

Jan Blakeley Holman: Yes. Of course, there is a little bit of complication of this too. Individuals who’ve been receiving Social Security benefits and then, let’s call it, unretire, can do so if they’re under age 70, and if it’s within 12 months of when they began receiving the benefits. To do so, they just fill out a form, which is SSA-521, and the name of that form is Request for Withdrawal of Application. They will also need to repay Social Security the benefits that they and any of their beneficiaries took and any money that was withheld from those Social Security checks, like Medicare payments. Once they’ve done that, they can let Social Security begin building again, and reapply later.

Hollis Walker: Wow. Okay, so Jan, that sounds pretty serious. Let me just make sure I understand. If I took the benefits for less than a year, and then I unretired as you called it, I’d have to come up with the cash to repay those benefits. What if you’re still working and you start taking Social Security? How does that work?

Jan Blakeley Holman: If you’re working and you take Social Security benefits, you’re fine unless you’re taking them before your full retirement age. Again, the little twist here is that if you’re working and decide to take Social Security at your full retirement age or later, you’re fine. But if you decide to take Social Security benefit before your full retirement age, there are hurdles that you have to overcome, and one is that there will be an earnings limit that’s applied to your income. And if you’re over a certain amount of income per year, money will be withheld from your Social Security check. Now, as you age, year after year after year, toward your full retirement age, the amount that will be withheld will be smaller. So by the point you reach your full retirement age, you’ll get the full benefit that you would have gotten when you started taking the benefit early. It will be lower, though, than the benefit you would’ve received at your full retirement age. Does that make sense?

Hollis Walker: It does make sense. It’s pretty complicated, but it does make sense. I still wonder, though, I mean, they set up Social Security this way a long time ago, and I know they’ve made adjustments to the law over the years. We keep hearing that our country may be facing a labor shortage and quite soon. That makes me wonder whether the government might eventually raise the age limit of full retirement age, for example, to discourage people from retiring relatively young. What do you think about that?

Jan Blakeley Holman: You know, this is one of those things where there are a number of moving parts, a number of variables that you could push on to determine how it affects the end result and the amount that’s in the Social Security trust fund. For example, one of them could be increasing the retirement age. Another could be limiting the amount of the benefit a person earning X number of dollars or more would receive. Another could be incenting people to not take Social Security until they’re older. Do you see what I mean? I mean, there, it’s almost limitless, the things that could be done. Additionally, those things could be done in conjunction with one another. So it’s pretty complicated and it’s gonna happen at some point, I believe, but I think it will make something that’s complicated really, really, really complicated. If that’s possible.

Hollis Walker: Well, I’ve got one simple answer to that, and that’s, that’s all the time we have today. You’ve been listening to #NowMe with me, your host, Hollis Walker and Jan Blakeley Holman, director of advisor education at Thornburg Investment Management. If you want to suggest a topic for us, email us at NowMe@Thornburg.com. If you’d like to hear more episodes of #NowMe, you can find us on Apple, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or your favorite audio provider, or by visiting us at Thornburg.com/podcasts. Jan can also be found on LinkedIn. If you like us, subscribe, share us on social media and leave us a review. Until next time, thanks for listening.

This podcast is for informational purposes only, and should not be relied upon as investment, legal, accounting, or tax advice. It is not intended to predict the performance of any investment or market, and is not a recommendation, offer, or solicitation to buy or sell any security or product, or adopt any investment strategy. Past performance is not an indication of future performance. Investing involves risk including possible loss of the money you invest. Consult your investment advisor before making any investment decisions. The information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. However, Thornburg Investment Management makes no representations or guarantees as to the accuracy or completeness of the information and has no obligation to provide any updates or changes. The views expressed are subject to change and do not necessarily reflect the views of Thornburg Investment Management. This podcast is for your personal and non-commercial use only. You may not use it in any other manner without the prior written consent of Thornburg Investment Management. Thank you for listening.

Discover more about:

Stay Connected

Subscribe now to stay up-to-date with Thornburg’s news and insights.

More Insights

Markets & Economy

Observations: Value Vs. Growth, Does Another Fed Hike Matter?

Co-Heads of Investments Ben Kirby and Jeff Klingelhofer discuss the tug-of-war between value and growth stocks and the possibility of another Fed tightening.
Young man checks his airline status against his mobile ticket.

Observations: Recession and Reversion to the Mean

Co-Heads of Investments Ben Kirby and Jeff Klingelhofer discuss the wait for a recession in the U.S. and the relative attraction of international equities.
United States capital building.
Municipal Bonds

Stability + Reserves + Yields = Opportunities in Munis

Munis are attractive again as Investors are finally getting paid with higher yields and the tax advantage. However, diligent research sets active managers apart.
Large Fed building against bright blue sky
Municipal Bonds

It’s Not All About the Fed, Munis Are Swayed by Weak Issuance

Munis are not in lockstep with Treasuries, as supply plays a crucial role in how Munis react in a rising rate environment.
Municipal Bonds

Municipal Revenues Hold Up Well, But Watch for Slower Growth

Municipal revenues remain firm, even as operating income for some entities deteriorates. However, recession and resulting slower growth are potential risks.
The silent generation represented by two ladies hugging.
Build Your Business

Managing Legacy Wealth Part 1 The Wealth Holders

Become an expert in Managing Legacy Wealth and position yourself for success

Our insights. Your inbox.

Sign up to receive timely market commentary and perspectives from our financial experts delivered to your inbox weekly.
Sign up to receive timely market commentary and perspectives from our financial experts delivered to your inbox weekly.