YOUR decision about when to start claiming Social Security will affect your benefits for the rest of your life, so it’s not a choice to be taken lightly.
In fact, a simple task that takes less than a minute could help boost your benefits by hundreds of dollars a month.
It involves looking up your full retirement age (FRA).
Your Social Security benefit in retirement will depend on your wage history, and specifically how much you earned during your 35 highest paid years.
You can claim once you turn 62 but you’re not entitled to the full benefit until you reach your FRA, which is based on your birth year.
For each month you file for benefits ahead of your FRA, those payments will get reduced – and on a permanent basis.
So if your FRA is 67 and you file for Social Security at age 62, you’ll cut your benefits by up to 30%.
For example, if you retire at full retirement age in 2022, your maximum benefit would be $3,345.
However, if you retire at age 62 in 2022, your maximum benefit would be $2,364 – a $981 difference.
That’s why it’s so important to learn your FRA ahead of retirement.
If your FRA is 67 and you sign up for Social Security at age 70, you’ll also get an up to 24% boost to your benefits.
In 2022, this could push up your benefit to a maximum $4,194 a month, if you’ve also earned six-figures throughout your career.
You can check your FRA by going on the Social Security Administration website.
We’ve also listed them below.
- Birth year: 1943-1954. FRA: 66
- Birth year: 1955. FRA: 66 and two months
- Birth year: 1956. FRA: 66 and four months
- Birth year: 1957. FRA: 66 and six months
- Birth year: 1958. FRA: 66 and eight months
- Birth year: 1959. FRA: 66 and 10 months
- Birth year: 1960 and later. FRA: 67
It comes as 2020 research from Schroders revealed that 51% of Americans said reaching the age of Social Security eligibility would be the reason they retire.
Meanwhile, only 4% said they’d retire as a result of hitting their financial targets for their retirement savings.
There are two big problems with this approach.
Firstly, claiming early will shrink your monthly checks forever, as explained above.
Secondly, Social Security benefits are only meant to replace about 40% of your pre-retirement income so you’ll generally need other savings.
If you claim Social Security as early as you can, stop working and don’t have any savings, you will likely struggle financially in your golden years.
We outline the exact dates when Social Security will be paid out in 2022.
Plus, an insurance expert explains how working while claiming Social Security can cut your benefits.
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https://www.the-sun.com/money/4613371/task-boost-social-security-fra/ A 30-second task could boost your Social Security benefits by up to $981 a month as half of Americans make huge mistake