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When Can You Get Social Security?

If you’re like most people, you’ve been paying into Social Security for most of your working life. As you get older, you start thinking about how and when you can start collecting on it. When can you actually start getting payments?

There are several different age thresholds at which you can begin collecting social security benefits: each year from age 62 to age 70 has different amounts and stipulations. Sixty-two is the minimum age for collecting your benefits — you cannot get anything before then. And if you find yourself desperately in need of the money at that point in your life, it can be worth cashing it in.

However, there are benefits inherent to waiting as long as you can, ideally until you hit 70, to start collecting social security. As you can imagine, you may well find yourself needing money sooner, and in some cases, you may want to start earlier. But before making any decisions about this during your sixties, you should know about the different trade-offs that exist at different age thresholds.

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In your early sixties, you should think twice before starting to collect Social Security just yet. Of course, it’s different for everyone, and sometimes, some money now is actually better than more money later. But here’s what you need to know.



Social Security at Different Ages

Here’s what happens, in terms of the amounts you can get, if you start collecting at different ages between sixty-two and seventy. Once you hit seventy, you can basically collect in full, without any penalties or reduced amounts.

Age 62

This is the soonest you can start collecting social security. It’s also a surprisingly popular age to start. One of the reasons for this is that people often worry about the Social Security program, as a whole, going broke and running out of money. You’ve probably seen plenty of news headlines about this.

The thing is, if you’re sixty-two now, or will turn sixty-two within the next couple of years, you’re fine. The concern is about younger people, especially Millennials (~25-40) and Gen Z (today’s kids and teenagers), being able to collect when they’re of age. Nothing will happen within the next few years.

With that in mind, it’s a good idea to wait longer if you can. For example, if you’re entitled to $1500 a month at age sixty-seven, you’re only going to get $1050 at 62. That’s almost a 30% reduction in benefits!

It’s your decision to make, and if you really need the money, it could be worthwhile. But waiting is ideal if you want to get the most out of social security.

Age 63-69

Each year prior to age seventy you claim your social security benefits, you’ll experience a slight reduction in the amount you can receive per month. This reduction decreases with each year.

A quick note about age 66: If you were born between 1943 and 1954 — but not afterward — you can receive full benefits at age sixty-six instead of seventy. For anyone born after 1954, this is not the case.

Age 70

At age 70, you can collect social security benefits in full, even if you were born in 1955 or later. While you don’t have to sign up yet, there are no longer any early withdrawal penalties to deal with. You can receive your benefits in full, and there’s really no compelling reason to wait any longer.


For more information on how you can manage your finances as a senior, visit our blog to read our articles. Senior Care Center can help you with any questions you may have about financial assistance for senior living. Give us a call today to speak to a Senior Care Advisor!

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