Q:

When should you apply for Social Security retirement benefits?

A:

Quick Answer

People can apply for social security retirement benefits from the age of 62 until they are 70, reports the Social Security Administration. Claiming benefits before full retirement age reduces monthly benefit amounts, while waiting until after full retirement age increases benefits.

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Full Answer

Full retirement age is the age at which people receive 100 percent of the Social Security retirement benefits due them, according to Bankrate. Although full retirement age used to be 65 for everyone, it is 65 only for those born before 1938, as of 2015. For others, it is between 65 and 67, depending on year of birth. Those who elect to retire early at age 62 permanently lose from 25 to 30 percent of their monthly benefits, states the Social Security Administration. If they instead wait until the maximum age of 70, they can receive over 30 percent more than the full retirement age amount. After age 70, delayed retirement credits no longer affect benefit amounts.

Most people, especially those who have not saved enough for retirement, should delay claiming Social Security retirement benefits as long as possible, recommends Bankrate. People who live to average life expectancy receive the same amount of benefits overall regardless of the time they begin to receive the benefits, states the Social Security Administration. Retirees should look at current financial status, history of family longevity, other sources of retirement income and plans to continue working while assessing when to apply for Social Security retirement benefits.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Can you receive your spouse's Social Security?

    A:

    An individual can receive Social Security benefits based on his spouse's record even if he has never worked under Social Security provided that he is at least 62 years old according to the Social Security Administration. The spouse must be receiving retirement or disability benefits from Social Security.

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  • Q:

    When can you collect Social Security?

    A:

    As of 2014, the earliest age to collect social security retirement benefits is 62. However, benefits collected at this age are lower than the amount available to individuals who wait until the full retirement age.

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    What determines your social security pay?

    A:

    Social Security adjusts a person's benefits by her retirement age, the amount she earned prior to retirement and by cost-of-living adjustments, states the Social Security Administration. The amount is also decreased by retirement benefits on which Social Security tax was not paid.

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    What effects your Social Security benefits?

    A:

    Social Security retirement benefits are lower for individuals who elect to begin receiving benefits before the age of 62, and higher for those who delay taking benefits until after full retirement age, according to the Social Security Administration. Early retirement benefits can be taken at age 62.

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