Many Americans eagerly await their FRA (their full retirement age) to retire and start collecting those Social Security checks. When you reach your full retirement age (based on your birth year), you can apply for retirement benefits and start collecting the checks you have earned after paying Social Security taxes for decades.
Many have to wait until they are 66 or 67 years old, or even older. But, you can apply as early as 62 years old. While many try to wait to retire as long as possible to collect the most money, sometimes it does make sense to just start collecting at 62. Even though the checks will be smaller, it can be a great idea for many people to retire and start collecting Social Security at 62 years old. Here are some of the benefits:
1. There may be no real benefits to waiting
When you delay receiving Social Security, you might be getting bigger checks, but you will likely get fewer of them. According to the Social Security Administration, “If you live to the average life expectancy for someone your age, you will receive about the same amount in lifetime benefits no matter whether you choose to start receiving benefits at age 62, full retirement age, age 70 or any age in between.”
If you feel like you will live longer than average, or simply don’t really want to retire yet, it may be worth it to wait. Otherwise, go ahead and start getting those checks!
2. If you need the money, don’t feel bad about collecting at 62
If you or your spouse has run into some health issues, you’ve been let go from your job before retirement, or you simply need some extra money each month, it may be worth it to start getting Social Security. According to recent surveys, many Americans have not saved up nearly enough money to retire once they hit the retirement age.
3. If you’re ready to enjoy retirement now
If you’re stuck in a job you hate and dream of retirement, you may just want to retire at 62 and start collecting benefits. Retiring earlier has lots of benefits, including that you will be younger and possibly healthier and able to enjoy more activities.
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