Saving for Retirement
Social Security: Early or “Full”?
Under certain conditions, Americans can begin collecting Social Security benefits at age 62. But you can also wait, of course, at least up until your “full retirement age.” (See the Social Security Administration website for how to calculate your retirement age; as long as you were born after 1943, your retirement age is at least 66.) If you take benefits early, the amount will be permanently reduced over the remaining years of your life. How much? In some cases the amount you receive could be reduced by as much as approximately one-fourth, compared to what you would receive if you waited. And if you take benefits early and you continue to work, you may be impacted by the earnings cap. Go over the allotted amount of earnings and your Social Security benefits will be reduced.
If you can, plan to wait until full retirement age that way you will receive the maximum possible. Just keep in mind everyone’s circumstances are different; talk to a financial professional before you make a final decision about when to start taking Social Security.