Want to know how early you can start receiving Social Security and why it may benefit you? Today we will focus on what happens when you begin taking benefits early instead of at full retirement age (66 & some months or 67 for most people).
As mentioned in a previous blog post, the earliest an individual can begin their Social Security benefits is age 62. The advantage of beginning the benefit early is of course not having to wait four or five more years until full retirement age. The disadvantage is that your monthly benefit will be reduced by up to 30%. (See how your benefit is affected by using the Social Security Early or Late Calculator.) However, this strategy may be appropriate for those who expect to have a shorter life expectancy or have sufficient investment and retirement account assets to meet their additional standard of living needs for the remainder of their life. Collecting Social Security at age 62 and experiencing a premature death will typically yield a higher cumulative benefit than waiting to collect the benefit at age 70 and experiencing a premature death. If you begin your Social Security benefit between ages 62 and 66/67 (your full retirement age), your benefit will still be reduced, but the closer you are to your full retirement age, the smaller the reduction and the larger benefit.
Life expectancy, investment assets, and financial goals are some of the factors that should be considered when choosing when to begin Social Security. For more on Social Security, be sure to attend one of our courseshere. If you would like a Social Security optimization report and personalized retirement advice, please book a consultation with a Lockheed Martin Retirement Specialist!