|Should I retire now at age 62 and collect Social Security
no right time to begin collecting Social Security benefits, but the age at
which you begin receiving benefits will affect how much retirement income you
have, so you should weigh the consequences carefully.
Keep in mind that if you collect Social Security before your full
retirement age, your benefit will be permanently reduced. Depending on the year
you were born, you'll receive between 25 and 30 percent less per month if you
collect benefits at age 62 than if you wait until full retirement age to begin
collecting benefits. However, this doesn't necessarily mean that collecting
benefits at age 62 is unwise. In fact, unless
you live to an especially old age, you may actually end up with more money if
you start collecting Social Security benefits at age 62
than if you wait until full
retirement age, because you'll receive more benefit checks.
reasons to wait until full
retirement age (or beyond)
to start collecting benefits. For
if you work full-time past age 62, you'll have the opportunity to increase your
eventual retirement benefit, particularly if you are in your peak earnings
years, because your benefit will be figured using your 35 highest earnings
if you'll barely scrape by after you retire, you may want to receive as much as
possible from Social Security each month.
If you can wait past full retirement age to begin collecting benefits, you will receive delayed retirement credits (up until age 70) that will permanently increase your benefit.
Other things to consider include whether other people will
be eligible to receive benefits based on your work record, your eligibility for
Medicare, your estimated life expectancy, and taxes. The Social Security
Administration (SSA) has several online benefit estimators available at ssa.gov
that can help you make an informed decision, and you can sign up at the SSA website for a my Social Security account so that you can view your online Social Security Statement. Your statement contains a detailed record of your earnings, as well as estimates of retirement, survivor, and disability benefits. If you're not registered for an online account and are not yet receiving benefits, you'll receive a statement in the mail every year, starting at age 60. You can also talk to an SSA
representative by calling (800) 772-1213 if you have questions.