Retirement Age

When Can I Retire? Understanding the Social Security Retirement Age

Last Updated on:
October 16, 2023
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Are you counting down the days until you can retire and start collecting Social Security benefits? When you can start taking benefits has a big impact on your retirement income. The full retirement age set by the Social Security Administration determines when you are eligible for your full monthly payment.

The full retirement age was once 65 for everyone. But due to longer life expectancies, changes were made to gradually increase the age you can collect full Social Security benefits. This change affects anyone born after 1937.

Here’s a look at how the full retirement age is increasing:

As you can see from the chart, the retirement age is rising by increments depending on your birth year. For anyone born 1960 or later it will be 67.

What does this mean for your retirement?

Here are some key facts:

  • You can start taking retirement benefits as early as age 62, but they will be reduced.
  • Taking benefits before your full retirement age decreases them by 5/9 of 1% for each month early.
  • For example, if your full retirement age is 67 but you claim benefits at 62, they will be reduced by about 30%.
  • You can also delay taking benefits past your full retirement age, which increases them by 8% per year up to age 70.
  • Working while collecting benefits before full retirement age decreases your benefits by $1 for every $2 earned over an annual limit.

Let’s look at some examples to see the impact:

As you can see, the retirement age makes a big difference in the size of your monthly benefits!

Here are some key takeaways about the Social Security retirement age:

  • The retirement age is gradually increasing to age 67.
  • Claiming before your full retirement age reduces monthly benefits.
  • Delaying claiming until age 70 can significantly increase monthly benefits.
  • Check your year of birth to find out your full retirement age.

The Social Security retirement age affects when you can retire and how much income you’ll have. Now that you understand how it works, you can make a plan to maximize your benefits. Use this information to check your own full retirement age and decide the best time to start taking benefits.

Written By:
Bryan Henry
Hi, I’m Bryan and I am delighted to make your acquaintance. Finances and business are my passions, and I have devoted myself to becoming an expert on all things related to money management. As the founder and owner of my own successful enterprise, I have acquired invaluable hands-on knowledge about entrepreneurship, budgeting, investing, and more.