Find out about the important big reason to file for social security at age 62 and more. You can sign up as early as 62, but doing so shrinks your checks. If you want the full benefit you’ve earned based on your work history, you have to delay until your full retirement age (FRA). That’s somewhere between 66 and 67 for today’s workers. Signing up at 62 docks your checks by 30% if your FRA is 67 or 25% if your FRA is 66. If you qualify for the average Social Security check of $1,658 per month at your FRA of 67 and you sign up right away at 62, you’ll lose nearly $500 per month. That said, you’ll receive checks for more years. This could turn out to be the smarter play if you don’t live as long. But for someone who lives into their 80s or beyond, starting Social Security early usually costs them a lot of money.
Just because I plan to delay Social Security until 70 doesn’t mean that’s what you should do. You have to make that call yourself, based on your life expectancy and financial situation.
If you’re struggling to decide, creating a my Social Security account on the Social Security Administration website might help. You’ll find a calculator that will show you how much you’ll get from Social Security at any age between 62 and 70 based on your work history.
Make note of your monthly benefit amount for a few ages you’re considering. Then, multiply each of these figures by 12 to get your estimated annual benefits. Finally, multiply your annual benefits by the number of years you expect to claim benefits to get your estimated lifetime benefit.
Disclaimer: this video is for educational and entertainment purposes only and is not meant to be a substitute for legal, accounting, tax, or professional advice. If you have any specific questions about any legal, accounting, tax or other professional service matter you should consult the appropriate professional services provider.