Asked by CJ  |  Submitted December 05, 2014

Is it better to start Social Security at age 62 or to wait until I am 65?

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  Answers  |  6

December 05, 2014

Hi -
The simple answer is to wait at least until you reach Full Retirement Age (FRA) which may be 65 for you. The FRA varies somewhat depending on the year of your birth. You can visit the Social Security website to get specifics as well as to request a benefits estimate (www.ssa.gov). Taking benefits at 62 permanently reduces your benefits by 25% for the rest of your life compared to benefits starting at your FRA. Unless you really need the money at 62, you probably don't want to take a permanent 25% reduction in your benefits. Another aspect is the earnings tax - if you collect benefits while you continue to work, they will take back some of the benefits depending on how much income you earn (this does not apply once you reach your FRA (after you've reached your FRA you can work as much as you want without any take backs). That could be a double-whammy - reduced benefits for life as well as a reduction for working. Yikes! The best advice is to start your retirement benefits as late as possible but not past age 70. Benefits increase by about 8% per year for every year you wait - up to age 70. You won't get 8% a year from any other investment. In fact, it pays to spend other funds for living expenses and hold off on your Social Security for as long as possible because of this increase. Good luck!

$commenter.renderDisplayableName() | 07.22.18 @ 18:39

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March 03, 2015

62 your earning 75%
65 your earning 100%
72 your earning 130%
Depends on if you really need it.

$commenter.renderDisplayableName() | 07.22.18 @ 18:39

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July 28, 2015

What a question. Any advisor will need more information to provide a decent answer to your question but.... in general it is better to wait as you will receive more benefits. Simple enough. If you elaborate on your question you will absolutely get better responses.

$commenter.renderDisplayableName() | 07.22.18 @ 18:39

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April 26, 2016

Taking social security at 62 rather than 65 will result in a reduced benefit. You probably will get 75% of the benefit at age 65.

$commenter.renderDisplayableName() | 07.22.18 @ 18:39

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November 06, 2017

The answer is....it depends. If you need the money right away at age 62, then you have no choice but to take it. However, if you don't need the money at age 62 and your goal is to maximize the amount you could potentially receive, then wait until at least 65 years old. You may also want to wait until age 70--which is the age at which you are eligible to draw the most benefit dollars. If you wait until after age 70 to draw social security, you will not see any increase in benefits.

$commenter.renderDisplayableName() | 07.22.18 @ 18:39

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November 06, 2017

It depends on whether you need the money or not. Generally it pays to wait till your full retirement age, which is determined by your date of birth. Taking early benefits can reduce your payment by as much as 25%.
So if you were entitled to $2,000 a month at full retirement, you might only get $1500 a month @age 62.
Furthermore, taking benefits early affect widow benefits when you die. Your spouse will receive the lower payments:

$commenter.renderDisplayableName() | 07.22.18 @ 18:39

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