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Can I Retire At 62 And Get Social Security

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Limits On Earned Income If Claiming Early Benefits

ð´Can I Apply For Social Security Retirement Benefits In Advance of Age 62

Until you reach full retirement age, Social Security will subtract money from your retirement check if you exceed a certain amount of earned income for the year. For the year 2021, this limit on earned income is $18,960 . The amount goes up each year. If you are collecting Social Security retirement benefits before full retirement age, your benefits are reduced by $1 for every $2 you earn over the limit. Once you reach full retirement age, there is no limit on the amount of money you may earn and still receive your full Social Security retirement benefit.


Henry is considering claiming early retirement benefits this year, at age 64. Social Security calculates that if he does so, he’ll receive $866 a month . But Henry also intends to continue working part-time, with an income that will be about $5,000 over the yearly limit on earned income. If he does claim the early benefits and makes that part-time income each month, Henry would lose one dollar out of two from the $5,000 he earns over the limit, which means $2,500 for the year. So, by claiming early retirement and continuing to earn over the limit, Henry incurs a double penalty: His retirement benefits are permanently reduced by 13%, and he loses an additional amount every month to the extent he earns over the income limit.

Social Security does not reduce each monthly check by a small amount, unfortunately. Instead, the agency may withhold several months’ entire checks until the reduction is paid off.

Can I Get Social Security Retirement At 62

Can i get social security retirement at 62? You can start receiving your Social Security retirement benefits as early as age 62. However, you are entitled to full benefits when you reach your full retirement age. If you delay taking your benefits from your full retirement age up to age 70, your benefit amount will increase.

How much Social Security will I get at the age of 62? How Your Social Security Benefit Is Reduced

What happens if you retire at 62 instead of 65? If you claim Social Security at age 62, rather than wait until your full retirement age , you can expect up to a 30% reduction in monthly benefits. For every year you delay claiming Social Security past your FRA up to age 70, you get an 8% increase in your benefit.

What happens with Social Security when you turn 62? If you start getting benefits at age 62, well reduce your monthly benefit 29.2 percent to $708 to account for the longer time you receive benefits. This decrease is usually permanent. If you choose to delay getting benefits until age 70, you would increase your monthly benefit to $1,253.

The Upside Of Filing At 62

Claiming Social Security at 62 means subjecting yourself to the maximum reduction in benefits you can face. If your FRA is 66, filing at 62 will constitute a 25% hit to your benefits. If your FRA is 67, signing up at 62 will leave you with a benefit that’s 30% lower. But despite the hit you might face initially, claiming Social Security at 62 makes sense for one big reason: You’re not betting on your own longevity.

Social Security is actually designed to pay you the same lifetime total regardless of when you first start collecting benefits. Signing up at age 62 will shrink your payments on a monthly basis, but you’ll also get a larger number of individual payments. Meanwhile, filing at FRA or later will give you more money from Social Security each month, but fewer payments. You should break even in your lifetime if you wind up living an average life expectancy. But what if you don’t?

Without a crystal ball, it’s impossible to predict your own life span. While you may end up living well into your 80s or beyond, health issues might creep up in your late 60s or early 70s that shorten your life expectancy tremendously. The benefit of signing up for Social Security at 62 is that you get your money as soon as you’re eligible, and you’re not taking on the financial risk of dying at a relatively young age.

Read Also: Estimated Social Security Benefit At Age 62

What Happens If You Claim After Your Fra

If you wait until your age 70 to start claiming benefits, then youll get an extra 8% per yearor, in total, 132% of your primary insurance amount for the rest of your life. Claiming after you turn 70 doesnt increase your benefits further, so theres no reason to wait longer than that.

The longer you can afford to wait after age 62 , the larger your monthly benefit will be. Nevertheless, delaying benefits doesnt necessarily mean that youll come out ahead overall. Other factors should be considered, including your expected longevity and whether you plan to file for spousal benefits. You should also consider the tax, investment opportunity, and health coverage implications.

How Your Social Security Benefits Are Earned

Why Smart People Take Social Security at 62

To be eligible for Social Security benefits in retirement, you must earn at least 40 “credits” throughout your career. You can earn as many as four credits each year, so it takes 10 years of work to qualify for Social Security.

In 2021, you must earn $1,470 to get one Social Security work credit and $5,880 to get the maximum four credits for the year.

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Timing And Your Health Coverage

Your health insurance coverage can also play a role in deciding when to claim Social Security benefits. Do you have a health savings account to which you would like to keep contributing? If so, note that if youre age 65 or older, then receiving Social Security benefits requires you to sign up for Medicare Part A, and once you sign up for Medicare Part A, youll no longer be allowed to add funds to your HSA.

The SSA also cautions that even if you delay receiving Social Security benefits until after age 65, you might still need to apply for Medicare benefits within three months of turning 65 to avoid paying higher premiums for life for Medicare Part B and Part D.

In 2022, the average monthly premium for Part D will be $33 per month versus $31.47 in 2021. If you enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, the average monthly premium will be $19 per month in 2022 versus $21.22 in 2021. However, if you are still receiving health insurance from your or your spouses employer, you might not yet have to enroll in Medicare.

As of Oct. 16, 2021, Social Security offices are only open by appointment, and to get an appointment you need to be in a limited, critical situation. Most people will have to transact their business online, by phone, or through the mail.

Gaining Back The Reduction In Benefits From Working

The amounts of early retirement benefits you lose as a setoff against your earnings are not necessarily gone forever. When you reach full retirement age, Social Security will recalculate upward the amount of your benefits to take into account the amounts you lost because of the earned income rule. The lost amounts will be made up only partially, however, a little bit each year. It will take up to 15 years to completely recoup your lost benefits. And remember, none of this readjustment will change the permanent percentage reduction in your benefits that was calculated when you claimed early retirement benefits .

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    Theres A Social Security Spousal Benefit

    Marriage brings couples an advantage when it comes to Social Security. One spouse can take what’s called a spousal benefit, worth up to 50% of the other spouse’s Social Security benefit. For example, if your monthly Social Security benefit is worth $2,000 but your spouse’s own benefit is only worth $500, your spouse can collect a spousal benefit worth $1,000 — bringing in $500 more in income per month.

    Just as the benefit based on your own work history is reduced if you claim it early, the same is true for a spousal benefit. That 50% figure is the maximum amount that only a spouse who is at least full retirement age is eligible for. Taking the spousal benefit early at, say, age 62, reduces the amount to as little as 32.5% of the higher earners benefit. If you take your own benefit early and then later switch to a spousal benefit, your spousal benefit will still be reduced.

    What If I Change My Mind

    Can You Take Social Security at 62 and Still Work Retirement Question

    If you receive Social Security benefits at a reduced rate, but then change your mind, you have the option of withdrawing your application and paying back to the government what you’ve already received . Then, you could restart benefits at a later date to take advantage of a higher payout. But you are limited to one withdrawal per lifetime.

    For example, let’s say you elected to receive early benefits at age 62, but then decided to go back to work at age 63. You could withdraw your Social Security application within the first 12 months of receiving benefits, pay back the years’ worth of benefits you received, go back to work, and then wait until a later age to restart your benefit checks at a higher level.

    For important details about repaying benefits please read the SSA publication If You Change Your Mind.

    Recommended Reading: At What Age Can You Retire And Collect Social Security

    You’re A Surviving Spouse And Looking To Collect Survivor Benefits

    Finally, if you’re married and your spouse dies, you don’t have to wait until age 62 to collect survivor benefits. As a widow or widower, you can generally claim survivor benefits based on your deceased spouse’s work history as early as age 60. If you’re disabled, then an even earlier minimum age of 50 applies.

    It’s important to note that, if you remarried following your deceased spouse’s death before you turned 60, you forfeit your ability to claim survivor benefits on your deceased spouse’s work history. Instead, your only remedy is to claim any benefits available under your current spouse’s work record. However, if you remarry after you reach age 60, then you can continue to receive survivor benefits. Later on, you can switch to benefits based on your current spouse’s work history, if you prefer.

    Reasons Why You Should Actually Retire At 62

    Early retirement retiring at 62 or before seems like a wonderful dream to a lot of people. Youve been in the workforce for decades. You have focused on work with the goal of enjoying the rest of your life on your own terms. But is it too early to get out of the rat race? Retiring at age 62 is quite a bit different from retiring later.

    If youre wondering whether its the right thing for you to do, this article is not intended to slow you down.

    Is it time to walk away from work and into retirement?

    Below are 10 reasons why you really should go ahead and retire at 62 or earlier!

    Or, plan your early retirement with the NewRetirement Planner, the best online retirement planning tool! Its called, a new approach, by Forbes Magazine.

    Start Planning Your Early Retirement

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    When Can A Spouse Claim Spousal Benefits

    You can apply for spousal benefits as early as age 62, but you won’t get as much as if you wait until your full retirement age. For example, if your full retirement age is 67 and you claim spousal benefits at age 62, you will receive 32.5 percent of your spouse’s entire benefit amount. If you waited until you were 66 to claim spousal benefits, you would be eligible for 50 percent of your spouse’s benefit amount.

    Your spouse can also claim spousal benefits even if he or she is still working. But like you, he or she cannot claim benefits before reaching age 60.

    If your spouse dies, then you will be notified about possible spousal benefits. You must file a new application by the time you turn 70½. If you fail to do so, the prior year’s benefit amount will be re-calculated using your current age. For example, if you were previously receiving $10,000 per month and you failed to submit an application, then your spousal benefit would have been reduced to $8,000 per month when it was originally calculated.

    If you are married but separated and one spouse is alive, you can still file a joint application. The surviving spouse would then be entitled to a share of his or her former spouse’s benefits based on their years of marriage.

    Reason #: Retire At 62 If You Want To Learn New Things

    Help Me Retire: Iâm 62, unemployed, living off my savings ...

    If you devoted your education and life to a focused career, there might come a point when you want to try something completely new. Taking retirement at 62 means you have time to pursue education in a different direction, and still have time to use and enjoy it.

    Adult students typically perform better than their younger counterparts. And, even if you dont pursue a new degree to use in the workforce, learning for personal edification can be rewarding. You might even gain a new skill set to use in starting a business of your own.

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    Finding The Right Post

    Retirement can be a great time to pursue what you love and make money at the same time.

    Due to the pandemic, an increasing number of part-time jobs and side hustles can be done remotely at home, making them ideal for seniors.

    According to a July 2020 research paper by Harvard University and University of Illinois professors, remote work is most common in industries with better educated and better paid workers.

    More than a third of firms that switched employees to remote work said they think it will remain more common even after the COVID-19 pandemic ends.

    Online tutoring, freelance content writing and customer service positions are just a few virtual ways older Americans can supplement their income.

    And if youre not sure where to start, or need help finding a job, organizations like Goodwill Industries have expanded their online services to help people build resumes, polish dress etiquette and find employment at no cost to jobseekers.

    According to Lauren Lawson-Zilai, senior director of public relations at Goodwill Industries International, 70 percent of locations have transitioned at least some of their career services online.

    The future of work and skills is changing fast, Lawson-Zilai told If youre only looking in your local classifieds for your next job, youre missing out on a large number of opportunities.

    How Does Early Retirement Affect Social Security

    Many adults look forward to retirement. And some wouldnt mind leaving the workforce ahead of schedule. But few people think about the drawbacks of retiring early. Few realize that an early retirement might affect their long-term financial plan and their access to certain benefits. A financial advisor can help you figure out all of your retirement and social security issues.

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    How Much Are Spousal Benefits Reduced At Age 62

    If you reach full retirement age at 66 and begin receiving spousal benefits at the age of 62, you will get 30% of your spouse’s monthly payment. If you apply for spousal benefits at the age of 65, you will get somewhat less than half of your spouse’s monthly benefit, depending on the month you begin receiving payments.

    A spouse can retire as early as age 62, although the payout may be as low as 32.5 percent of the worker’s primary insurance amount. A spousal pension is decreased by 25% for each month before regular retirement age, up to a maximum of 36 months.

    Reason #: Retire Early If You Are Ready To Focus On A Financial Goal

    When Can I Retire and Collect Social Security? What’s The Best Age?

    Maybe you arent quite financially ready to retire early. Should this hold you back? Absolutely not. Especially if you are ready to focus on a financial goal.

    Most Americans are unprepared for retirement and may need to continue working during their 60s and beyond. However, dont let past mistakes of lack of planning and saving hold you back now!

    Set a goal to retire early, start analyzing your finances and design a plan to get out of the workforce as soon as you can. The sooner you make an effort to retire early, the sooner you will be able to do it.

    The NewRetirement Planner makes it easy to get started. Try different scenarios and find your path to retirement as early as possible.

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    Early Retirement And Social Security Payments

    If youre wondering how much youll get from Social Security, you can check out our Social Security calculator. It estimates how much youll earn depending on your annual income, the year you were born and when you choose to start receiving benefits.

    The calculations for Social Security benefits come from your highest 35 years of earnings. Thats how the Social Security Administration comes up with your average monthly indexed earnings . If you retire too early , youll receive less Social Security. Thats the downside to an early retirement.

    The table below comes from the Social Security benefits retirement planner and calculates the monthly increase rate by birth year:

    Delayed Retirement Increase
    8%2/3 of 1%

    This means that the maximum number of retirement months is 60 for those retiring at age 62 when the full retirement age is 67. So your benefits could be reduced by up to 30%. Social Security calculates this maximum by multiplying 36 months by 5/9 of 1% and then adds total of 24 months multiplied by 5/12 of 1%.

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