Social Security: What age you should file for benefits

A lot of people who retire might end up relying on their Social Security benefits more than they planned.

It’s important to know that the age you choose to retire plays a huge part in what you’ll be receiving each month.

The amount you get is based on a number of things.

The wages you made for your 35 highest earning years are used to determine how much you’ll get.


Related: What is the 2022 Social Security payment schedule?

After that, the age you choose to retire impacts what you’ll receive.

In order to receive your full monthly benefit upon retirement, you need to retire at your full retirement age.

The earlier you retire the less money you’ll see every month.

Some people do not know their full retirement age because it depends on the year you were born.

The earliest you can claim benefits is age 62 and the latest it will continue to increase before you claim is age 70.


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The year you were born determines your full retirement age

  • 1943 to 1954: age 66
  • 1955: age 66 and 2 month
  • 1957: age 66 and 6 months
  • 1958: age 66 and 8 months
  • 1959: age 66 and 10 months
  • 1960 and after: age 67

Every month you choose to claim benefits before you hit your full retirement age, it decreases the benefit.

If you file for retirement at 62, the earliest age you’re allowed to, you will see as much as 30% less per month compared to if you retired at 67.


Related: Will these Social Security changes impact you in 2022?

If you wait until you’re passed your full retirement age, you can increase your benefits by as much as 24% by age 70.

Once you reach 70 there is no benefit to waiting and your monthly payment will not go up anymore.

What age is the best age to decide to retire at

There are reasons people may be better off retiring earlier than their full retirement age, or waiting until past it.

Your health is a factor. If you are unwell and do not know that age 70 is possible, it may be best to retire early.

If you have a large retirement savings already, you could retire earlier knowing you have that money to fall back on.

The best thing to do is to keep these numbers in mind leading up to your retirement age, so you can make the best choice for yourself and your spouse.