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As of 2019, Americans can start receiving their social security retirement benefits at age 62. However, those who start collecting benefits at this age will not receive their full retirement amount. In the U.S., full retirement age is 66 and two months for those born in 1955. The age will rise to 67 at some point in the future. So, many people who are nearing retirement age often wonder at what age they should start collecting benefits. They should because it is a critical question.

The Chart

When you are trying to decide whether to take your social security benefits early or wait till full retirement age, here is the most important chart you will ever need to see:

Start collecting social security, your benefits will:

Age 62- Be reduced around 30 percent

Age 63- Be reduced around 25 percent

Age 64- Be reduced around 20 percent

Age 65- Be reduced around 13 percent

Age 66- Be reduced around 6 percent

Age 67- No change

Age 68- Increase around 8 percent

Age 69- Increase around 16 percent

Age 70- Increase around 24 percent

Future retirees may think waiting as long as possible is the best answer to the benefit question. Obviously, the longer people wait, the more money they will receive. However, the answer is not always engraved in stone. The truth is, it all depends on a person’s financial and personal circumstances.

Many people start to collect social security at age 62. Needing extra money, a job loss or caring for a loved one are a few of the many reasons why people collect their benefits early. Some people retire at 62 because they cannot work. Others stop working and start collecting early because that is what they want to do.

Financial experts recommend that people should try and wait for as long as possible. The advantages are clear as day. Waiting longer results in more money. Over time, the benefits will increase significantly. If people can work until they are 70, they can amass a much bigger retirement nest egg by saving and investing more. Additionally, working longer results in receiving a higher benefit. There are no “secrets” to social security. However, the more a person knows about how it works, the more they can maximize their benefits.

      Securities offered through Sanctuary Securities, Member FINRA and SIPC. Advisory services offered through Sanctuary Advisors, LLC, an SEC registered investment advisor