Why can’t you retire in your thirties if you are insured after earning 40 credits? While the government cannot stop you from retiring young, it will not award your full retirement benefits until you reach your retirement age. However, you can start collecting a reduced amount a few years earlier.
The government sets the Social Security retirement age – the age when you can receive 100% of your benefits. If you file for retirement benefits before your full retirement age, the SSA reduces your benefit amount. Conversely, you could receive more than your full retirement benefits if you delay payments.
Different Social Security claiming strategies can cause you to receive benefits sooner or for a higher amount. The Social Security retirement age chart illustrates how your designated and actual retirement age influences your benefit amount.
First, your full retirement age depends on your birth year. Your Social Security retirement age is:
· 67 if you were born in 1960 or later.
· 66 and 10 months if you were born in 1959.
· 66 and 8 months if you were born in 1958.
· 66 and 6 months if you were born in 1957.
· 66 and 4 months if you were born in 1956.
· 66 and 2 months if you were born in 1955.
· 66 if you were born between 1943 and 1954.
The minimum age to collect Social Security retirement benefits is 62, no matter your birth year. If you apply for benefits between 62 and your full retirement age, the SSA reduces your monthly payment.
For example, if your Social Security retirement age is 67 years of age, the SSA could reduce your monthly payment by:
· 30 percent if retiring at 62 years of age.
· 25 percent if retiring at 63 years of age.
· 20 percent if retiring at 64 years of age.
· 13.3 percent if retiring at 65 years of age.
· 7.7 percent if retiring at 66 years of age.
Conversely, you can increase your benefits up to 24 percent by waiting to collect benefits at 70 years of age. The percent of increased benefits also depends on your birth year and how long you delay benefits. However, the SSA stops increasing your benefit amount at 70 even if you continue to delay benefits.
For instance, if your full retirement age is 67 years of age, the SSA could increase your monthly payment by:
· 4 percent if retiring at 67-and-a-half years of age.
· 8 percent if retiring at 68 years of age.
· 12 percent if retiring at 68-and-a-half years of age.
· 16 percent if retiring at 69 years of age.
· 20 percent if retiring at 69-and-a-half years of age.
· 24 percent if retiring at 70 years of age.
Are you wondering, “Should I delay Social Security retirement benefits or retire early?” That answer depends on multiple personal factors, like your health and if you are still earning an income. Consider the following examples if the full benefit amount is $1,000 at 67 years of age:
· You retire early at 62 and collect $700 until your death at:
o 72 (10 years) for a total of $84,000.
o 77 (15 years) for a total of $126,000
o 80 (18 years) for a total of $151,200
· You retire at the full retirement age of 67 and collect $1,000 until your death at:
o 72 (5 years) for a total of $60,000.
o 77 (10 years) for a total of $120,000
o 80 (13 years) for a total of $156,000
· You delay retirement until 70 and collect $1,240 until your death at:
o 72 (2 years) for a total of $29,760.
o 77 (7 years) for a total of $104,160
o 80 (10 years) for a total of $148,800
If you want to know, “How much Social Security will I get at my retirement age?” you can check your online Social Security account. It will estimate your benefit amount based on your earning history and time before retirement. Your past income is what determines Social Security amounts, and the SSA does not reduce your benefit if you also receive a pension or other retirement benefit.
Your state government may have cash assistance options if you are unemployed or underemployed. Unemployment Insurance can help cover your basic expenses while looking for a new job.