Approaching retirement? Have you thought about when to claim Social Security benefits?
We’ll get to the details in a bit, but first, find out what you already know about this subject by taking a quick quiz:
Full retirement age
Many people have the misconception that full retirement age is when they reach 65. But it actually depends on your birth year. If you were born between 1943 and 1954, full retirement age is when you turn 66. If you were born in 1955, it is 66 and two months. Add two months per year until you reach 1960 and beyond, when full retirement age is 67.
(If you were born in 1937 or earlier, your full retirement age was 65. From 1938 to 1942, retirement age ranges from 65 and two months to 65 and 10 months. You’ve likely already retired.)
Age and claiming
According to the U.S. Social Security Administration, you’ll generally get the same amount in lifetime benefits no matter what age you choose to file, assuming you live to average life expectancy.
But the amount you get each month can differ substantially depending on the age at which you file.
You can start claiming Social Security benefits at age 62. Many people opt to do this. As I speak across the country explaining how to plan and maximize your Social Security, I meet all kinds of people that are not getting what they are entitled to. More importantly, the Social Security Administration won’t offer that assistance. However, your monthly benefits will be about 25 to 30 percent less than if you wait till your full retirement age to file. This is why seeking advise from a Social Security Benefits Planner so you can get a forecast of what your benefits will be.