At What Age Do You Get 100% of Your Social Security Benefits
Posted by Andrew Feldman
Retirement planning involves a delicate balance of various factors, and one of the key elements in this equation is determining the optimal age to start claiming Social Security benefits. Many individuals wonder: At what age do you get 100% of your Social Security benefits?
Understanding Full Retirement Age
The age at which you are eligible to receive 100% of your Social Security benefits is known as your Full Retirement Age (FRA). FRA is not a fixed age for everyone; it depends on the year you were born. The Social Security Administration (SSA) has established a scale that gradually increases the FRA to account for longer life expectancies.
As of the last available information (up to September 2021), the following table illustrates the Full Retirement Age based on birth year:
- Born 1943-1954: FRA is 66 years.
- Born 1955: FRA is 66 years and 2 months.
- Born 1956: FRA is 66 years and 4 months.
- Born 1957: FRA is 66 years and 6 months.
- Born 1958: FRA is 66 years and 8 months.
- Born 1959: FRA is 66 years and 10 months.
- Born 1960 and later: FRA is 67 years.
Claiming Before or After Full Retirement Age
While you can start claiming Social Security benefits as early as age 62, doing so before your Full Retirement Age results in a reduction in your monthly benefits. On the other hand, delaying claiming benefits beyond your FRA can lead to an increase in your monthly benefits.
If you choose to claim benefits before your Full Retirement Age, your monthly benefits will be permanently reduced. The reduction is approximately 6.67% per year for the first three years before your FRA and an additional 5% for each year beyond that. For example, if your FRA is 66 and you claim benefits at 62, your benefits will be reduced by about 25%.
Claiming After Full Retirement Age:
Delaying the claiming of Social Security benefits beyond your Full Retirement Age results in an increase in your monthly benefits. The increase is about 8% per year up until the age of 70. After age 70, there is no additional increase for delaying.
Factors to Consider
The decision of when to claim Social Security benefits is highly individual and depends on various factors such as your health, financial situation, and longevity expectations. Here are some considerations:
- Health Status: If you are in good health and anticipate a longer lifespan, delaying benefits may be advantageous as you’ll receive higher monthly payments in the later years of your retirement. Learn more about Medicare.
- Financial Need: If you need the income earlier and can afford the reduction, claiming benefits before your FRA may be a practical choice.
- Spousal Considerations: For married individuals, there are strategies to optimize spousal benefits. Working with a financial advisor can help you understand these strategies and make informed decisions.
While the age at which you receive 100% of your Social Security benefits is based on your Full Retirement Age, the decision of when to claim benefits involves careful consideration of your unique circumstances. It’s advisable to consult with a financial advisor who can provide personalized guidance based on your financial goals and situation. Remember, the choice you make regarding Social Security can have a lasting impact on your retirement income, so it’s essential to approach it with careful planning and consideration.
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