There’s a reason why so many seniors rush to file for Social Security at the age of 62: it’s the earliest age to begin receiving benefits. If you’re thinking about taking a similar path, you might be counting down the days until your 62nd birthday. But here’s why you might want to reconsider your strategy.
If you’ve saved so much for retirement that Social Security will only make up a small portion of your senior income, it may not matter when you apply for benefits. After all, if your savings can provide $5,000 in income per month, you might not mind if Social Security pays you a few hundred dollars less.
However, if you expect Social Security to be your primary source of income, filing for benefits at the age of 62 is a decision you may come to regret. You won’t be able to collect your full monthly Social Security benefit until you reach full retirement age, which is 66, 67, or somewhere in between. If you claim benefits at the age of 62, you can reduce them by up to 30% for the rest of your life.
The advantage of claiming benefits at 62 is that you’ll get your money sooner, and if you don’t expect to live a long life (for example, if you have a lot of health issues going into retirement), filing at 62 is a good idea. However, if you expect to live an average or longer retirement, cutting your primary income stream could be disastrous.
The average Social Security recipient now receives $1,557 per month. If your full retirement age is 67 and you are eligible for that benefit, filing at 62 will leave you with $1,090 per month instead. If you don’t have any other source of income besides Social Security, that’s not much to live on.
Even if you have other sources of income, you never know how much your living expenses will rise in retirement. Healthcare could cost you a fortune, especially if you develop medical problems as you age. As your house ages, you may find yourself in need of a slew of home repairs. Alternatively, you may require additional funds simply to keep yourself occupied in the absence of a job.
Filing for Social Security at the age of 62 means losing a significant source of income. And, unless you’re confident you can compensate for the loss in another way, you might be better off deferring your claim.
Of course, this does not have to imply filing with the FRA. As a compromise, you can sign up for benefits at the age of 64 or 65. Your benefits will be reduced, but not to the extent that you would face if you signed up for Social Security as soon as possible.
If you’re looking at a $1,557 benefit at age 67, signing up at 65 will give you about $1,350 per month instead of just $1,090. And chances are, that extra cash will come in handy at some point during your senior years.
If you’re like the majority of Americans, you’re a few years (or more) behind on retirement savings. However, a few little-known “Social Security secrets” could help you increase your retirement income. For example, one simple trick could earn you up to $16,728 more per year! We believe that if you learn how to maximize your Social Security benefits, you will be able to retire confidently and with the peace of mind that we all seek.