Social security milestones

Social Security Retirement Benefits: Milestone Ages That Impact Your Payout

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Understanding the critical ages for taking Social Security retirement benefits can be the difference in thousands of dollars over time. Therefore, it is important for you to determine the best age to start taking Social Security for your situation. Here are the important ages on the Social Security retirement benefits timeline to consider that may impact your monthly payout:

Age 62

You can start taking your Social Security retirement benefit at any point from age 62 up until age 70. However, your benefit will be higher the longer you delay taking Social Security retirement benefits. You can claim Social Security benefits a few years before your full retirement age, but your monthly benefit amount may reduce. For this reason, determining your benefit amount at your full retirement age (when you’re eligible for 100% of your earned benefit amount) is crucial in making an informed decision. Other benefits available at age 62:

  • Social Security survivor benefits are available for spouses.
  • Divorced spouse benefits- Your divorced spouse can get benefits on your Social Security record if the marriage lasted at least ten years. Your divorced spouse must be 62 or older and unmarried. The benefits they get don’t affect the amount you or your current spouse can get. Also, your former spouse can get benefits even if you haven’t started to receive retirement benefits. You both must be at least 62 and divorced at least two years.

Age 65 and born in 1937 or earlier

You’ve reached full retirement age and are eligible for your full Social Security retirement benefit amount.

Age 66 – If you were born between 1938 and 1954

You’ve reached your full retirement age and are eligible for your full Social Security retirement benefit amount.

Age 66 – If you were born between 1955 and 1959

Your full retirement age gradually increases based on the following schedule until age 67:

  • 1955- Full retirement age 66 and 2 months
  • 1956- Full retirement age 66 and 4 months
  • 1957- Full retirement age 66 and 6 months
  • 1958- Full retirement age 66 and 8 months
  • 1959- Full retirement age 66 and 10 months

For those born in 1960 or later

  • Age 67- you’ve reached your full retirement age. Delaying your benefits may provide you with a higher benefit amount.
  • Age 68- Your monthly benefit amount increases based on the Social Security monthly benefit tables and your earnings credits.
  • Age 69- Your monthly benefit amount increases based on the Social Security monthly benefit tables and your earnings credits.
  • Age 70- You’ve reached the age where your monthly benefit will no longer increase if you continue working.

other notable social security nuances to be aware of:

Not waiting until full retirement age to take benefits may mean up to 30% less each month for some individuals.

Working while receiving Social Security retirement benefits may reduce your monthly benefit amount.

Once you start Social Security benefits, your decision can’t reverse to wait until a later age.

Deciding when to start receiving Social Security benefits can be confusing, and your decision can mean a difference in thousands of dollars each year. Incorporating your benefit amount into your financial plan information can help you determine the appropriate age to take benefits for your situation.

Each year, review your Social Security Statement to check for accuracy. You can view your Social Security earnings and anticipated benefits report by registering for an account at

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What is the right age for you to start taking Social Security? Every situation is different, so make sure you consult with your financial advisor. Talk to us today!

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