One of the best things about Social Security benefits is that you’re not tied down to just one filing age. Instead, you have several choices to select from when it comes to receiving benefits.
The youngest age you are able to claim Social Security benefits is at 62. But you should also know that you can’t get the full monthly benefit amount based on your earnings throughout your life until you are at full retirement age, which only kicks in at 66 to 67 years of age depending on what year you were born.
You also have the choice to delay your SS filing past FRA and get an increased monthly benefit for the rest of your life. For every year that you wait to file, up until you’re 70 years old, your benefits receive an 8% boost.
It is for this reason that waiting to file when you reach age 70 might hold some appeal. And for other beneficiaries, opting to wait on filing is smart choice. But you probably want to claim SS well before you reach the age of 70 if this specific scenario applies to you.
When you have earned the right to cut your SS benefits — but collect earlier
Many of us would like to think of ourselves having enough energy to enjoy our retirement at age 70 and beyond. But you will more likely be healthy enough to pursue different hobbies and travel while you’re in your early 60s than you would be in your late 60s. And so this might motivate you to claim Social Security sooner so you are able to use that money to fulfill your retirement goals that you have set.
Now the one thing that might be keeping you from signing up for SS early is seeing your Social Security benefits take that permanent hit. But if you have saved enough for retirement, you might be in a good enough financial position where a lower benefit will not hurt you that bad — so if getting Social Security benefits sooner will make it possible to do some of the things that you have always wanted to do, then it would pay to claim your Social Security benefits earlier rather than later.
Of course, if you don’t have a lot of money in your 401(k) or IRA plan, then you might need to take another approach to claiming SS benefits — especially because you will likely become more reliant on SS benefits to pay your bills during your retirement. But if you are reaching your early 60s while having $3 million saved, then you should not hesitate to claim SS benefits when you would like to — even if that would mean losing out on what might be a sizable boost.