Will the age when I claim my Social Security retirement benefits affect how much I get?

Answer: The monthly amount of your Social Security retirement benefits will depend on the age at which you choose to claim your benefits. The later you claim the more you get each month.

You are eligible to claim your Social Security retirement benefits without any reduction at what the Social Security Administration calls the full retirement age. For people born after 1942, the full retirement age ranges from 66 to 67, depending on the year you were born.

  • Your benefit increases each month that you wait after your full retirement age, up to age 70. By claiming after your full retirement age, you can permanently increase your monthly benefit by as much as 32 percent. At age 70, you get the maximum possible monthly benefit, there is no additional benefit to be gained by waiting to claim after age 70.
  • Your benefit is reduced for each month that you claim your benefit before your full retirement age. You can claim your benefit as early as age 62, but this reduces your monthly benefit by as much as 30 percent. At age 62, you get the lowest possible monthly benefit.

FACT: Monthly payments are 75 percent greater for those who collect at age 70 compared to those who claim early at 62. For example, for someone with an expected monthly benefit of $1,000 at full retirement age, the expected monthly benefit at age 62 is $750 while the expected monthly benefit at age 70 is $1,320.

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