Is 62 the Best Age to Start Drawing Social Security? — The Motley Fool

You can apply for Social Security advantages as early as age 62. However, there are professionals and cons related to claiming your advantages while you’re so younger. Here are the benefits and downsides of receiving Social Security at 62 and a few essential issues to take into account earlier than making your remaining choice.

First, the disadvantages

Social Security is a important supply of retirement revenue for thousands and thousands of Americans, however the amount of cash that retirees accumulate in advantages typically falls shy of their whole annual bills.

A senior man scratching his head while sitting at a desk looking at a piece of paper.


In 2018, the common Social Security recipient is collecting $1,404 per 30 days in advantages, which works out to $16,848 per yr. That’s not some huge cash when you think about that the common retiree family spends over $40,000, in accordance to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

One purpose why retirees’ haul from Social Security is so small is that claiming early stays extremely in style. Workers can start receiving Social Security as early as age 62, and as fellow Fool Dan Caplinger lately pointed out, over one-third of recipients start their advantages at that time.

Claiming at age 62 might be good for varied causes (extra on that in a minute), however maximizing advantages is not certainly one of them. Workers solely get 100% of their Social Security advantages in the event that they wait till their full retirement age (FRA), which varies between 66 years previous to 67 years previous for individuals born after 1954.

If you apply to your advantages at age 62, then your month-to-month examine will probably be a lot smaller than it could be in case you wait till FRA. The Social Security Administration reduces your month-to-month profit fee by a set proportion for each month you declare sooner than FRA, and people month-to-month penalties can add up. For instance, an individual born in 1960 has a full retirement age of 67; in the event that they declare advantages at age 62, they’d get 30% much less per 30 days than they might get in any other case.

Claiming at age 62 additionally means forgoing a bonus to your profit. Social Security rewards those that delay amassing their advantages till age 70 with delayed retirement credits. If you maintain off, you will get an eight% enhance for yearly after full retirement age that you simply wait.

The distinction between the quantity you would accumulate in advantages at age 62 and the quantity you would accumulate in case you wait till age 70 to apply for advantages is important. Assuming a full retirement age of 67 and a full retirement age good thing about $1,000, an individual who claims at age 62 would solely obtain $700 per 30 days, whereas an individual who claims at age 70 would obtain $1,240 per 30 days. In this state of affairs, claiming at age 70 ends in a month-to-month examine that is a whopping 77% greater than the examine they’d obtain at age 62.

A man in a suit sitting on a floor as $1 bills fall down around him.


The benefits of claiming early

Quite a bit goes into deciding when it is best to apply for Social Security, and at the high of any checklist must be well being and retirement targets. The common 62-year-old man and girl have a mean remaining life expectancy of 20 years and 22.eight years, respectively, in accordance to Social Security’s life expectancy desk. However, many individuals will move away youthful than the common life expectancy.

The likelihood of somebody age 62 passing away inside one yr is only one.three%, however the likelihood of dying will increase dramatically as we become older, climbing to 2.three% at age 70 and 5.9% at age 80. Overall, there’s a couple of 40% probability a 60-year-old man will not attain age 80, based mostly on 2015 knowledge.

Of course, loads of individuals reside longer than common, too, however the actuality is that in case you’re involved about your well being, claiming early can present beneficial revenue that enables you to obtain your retirement targets, reminiscent of journey, whilst you’re wholesome sufficient to take pleasure in it. It additionally might present extra in whole lifetime advantages than in case you wait to declare, significantly when you’ve got extra sources of retirement revenue and may afford to stash a few of your Social Security revenue in shares or bonds.

As you’ll be able to see in the following break-even evaluation chart, an individual with a full retirement age of 67 will accumulate extra in lifetime Social Security advantages in the event that they declare at age 62 as a substitute of age 70 up till they attain their late 70s. Investing a portion of Social Security revenue may make the break-even level even later in life if that funding generates a optimistic return.

A chart showing break even points associated with claiming at various ages.

Chart by Author.

Important issues

In addition to your well being and retirement targets, your choice will rely in your plan to proceed working (or not working) in retirement, your anticipated retirement bills, and different sources of retirement revenue. You also needs to take into account the age of your kids and your partner’s well being.

If you declare at age 62 and also you proceed working, you would have a few of your Social Security held again till full retirement age in case you fail Social Security’s earnings test. Also, up to 85% of your Social Security may grow to be topic to revenue taxes in case your revenue exceeds limits. Furthermore, in case your partner qualifies for spousal benefits, the quantity your partner will accumulate in advantages after you are gone will probably be smaller in case you declare at age 62.

Ultimately, the greatest age to apply for Social Security relies on your particular scenario, so be sure you perceive your choices earlier than making your remaining choice.

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