Tips on Social Security

Did you know that 178 million Americans are taxed through work, and that Social Security provides monthly benefits to more than 69 million Americans? Social Security has been one of the most successful federal programs, providing a strong economic foundation to millions of Americans.

Timing on when you decide to receive Social Security benefits can have a dramatic impact on how much you will receive.

Claiming benefits at age 62 results in the smallest benefit amount and it is also permanent. Benefits are reduced to account for the fact that the beneficiary will receive payments over a longer period.

For every month before a person’s FRA that he or she elects to receive retirement benefits, the full benefit is reduced by a fraction of a percent: 5/9 of 1 percent for each of the first 36 months, plus 5/12 of 1 percent for each month beyond 36 months. For example, assuming FRA is 66, the reduction in benefits if a worker were to claim at the ages of 62 through 65 is as follows:

Benefit Decrease for Early Retirement

If worker claims benefits at age:

Benefit Decrease:









Not everyone can postpone taking Social Security at FRA or wait until they are 70 to obtain the largest benefit.

Here are several factors to consider when deciding when to start Social Security:

The breakeven point of someone deciding to take Social Security at 70 instead of 62 is approximately 80 years of age, meaning you’d have to live to 80 before the benefit of having delayed collecting your Social Security benefit out-ways the benefit of taking it at 62.

Here’s an AARP calculator to help you with this important decision:

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