Now or Later?
Signing up for Social Security retirement benefits isn’t difficult. But deciding when to claim them may be. Choosing the “right” age begins with understanding your options.
You can start receiving benefits at any time between age 62 and age 70. However, to receive your full benefit amount, you’ll have to wait until you reach your full retirement age (FRA), which is based on the year you were born.
Smaller but Longer
If you begin taking benefits at age 62, your payments will always be less than the full amount. On the other hand, you would potentially be collecting them over a longer span of time. You might consider this option if your health is poor or you need the income.
Bigger but Fewer
If you postpone taking benefits at FRA, you may be eligible for delayed retirement credits for each month that you wait up to age 70. Waiting may be a good option if you’re still working or have other retirement income sources.
Calculating your “break-even” age — the age at which you’ll receive the same total amount whether you begin taking benefits at age 62, at your FRA, or at age 70 — may give you some perspective.
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