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14 Reasons to File for Social Security at Age 62

Author: Christy Bieber | August 03, 2021

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Claiming Social Security at the right time is crucial

Social Security is an important income source for most retirees. Despite that fact, many seniors are unaware that the age when they first start getting this income could affect the size of their payments.

Retirees can claim beginning at 62, but the longer they wait until age 70, the more money they'll get every month. But while delaying could lead to a larger monthly check, it's still not the right choice for everyone.

In fact, here are 14 great reasons why claiming Social Security at 62 could be your best bet.

The $17,166 Social Security bonus most retirees completely overlook
If you're like most Americans, you're a few years (or more) behind on your retirement savings. But a handful of little-known "Social Security secrets" could help ensure a boost in your retirement income. For example: one easy trick could pay you as much as $17,166 more... each year! Once you learn how to maximize your Social Security benefits, we think you could retire confidently with the peace of mind we're all after. Simply click here to discover how to learn more about these strategies.

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1. Because you want to claim at the earliest age allowed

If your goal is to start your benefits ASAP, 62 is the right age for you. This is the earliest age when you can begin your retirement benefit checks.

If you're counting down the days until this money starts coming in, you may be perfectly happy to file for your checks to start as soon as you hit your eligibility age -- even if that does mean getting less money each month than would be available if you had waited.

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2. Because you need the money to retire

If you're dreaming of early retirement, you may be able to pull it off only if you have income from Social Security. That's because it can often be difficult to live on savings alone.

If that's your situation, working a few extra years at a job you are eager to leave may not be worth the trade-off of getting higher Social Security benefits by delaying the start of them.

ALSO READ: 3 Moves That'll Lead to an Early Retirement

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3. Because you lose your job

Losing your job late in life can be really stressful.

It may be difficult to find another one. Or, you may not feel like looking for work and starting over near the end of your career. And in some cases, even if you do find work, you may only be able to find a position at a lower pay rate.

If your paychecks have stopped coming or have been reduced dramatically by circumstances out of your control, you may have to claim Social Security as soon as you can at 62 to help you make ends meet.

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4. Because you have health issues

A delay in a Social Security benefits claim means giving up income for months or even years.

In order to break even for forgoing some checks or to end up better off for doing so, you would have to meet or exceed your life expectancy.

If you have major health issues already at age 62, then you may want to start getting Social Security checks ASAP so you can claim as much of the money as possible while you're still around.

The $17,166 Social Security bonus most retirees completely overlook
If you're like most Americans, you're a few years (or more) behind on your retirement savings. But a handful of little-known "Social Security secrets" could help ensure a boost in your retirement income. For example: one easy trick could pay you as much as $17,166 more... each year! Once you learn how to maximize your Social Security benefits, we think you could retire confidently with the peace of mind we're all after. Simply click here to discover how to learn more about these strategies.

Previous

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5. Because you won't have to wait to break even

Even if you expect to outlive your life expectancy and end up with more Social Security benefits in the end, it can take many years to make up for income you miss by delaying the start of your benefits.

You'll make up for this income eventually by getting higher monthly checks. But the time it takes you to break even could be more than a decade.

If you don't want to count on living that long, then you may be better off claiming as soon as you're able. That would mean claiming at 62.

ALSO READ: How Your Social Security Break-Even Age Affects When You Should Claim Benefits

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6. Because you know your claiming age shouldn't matter

Social Security doesn't intend to reward people for delaying benefits or financially punish them if they claim early. In fact, the program is designed with the goal of equalizing the amount of benefits people receive over their lifetimes.

Early filers end up with smaller checks from Social Security on the theory they will receive more of them in their lives than if they had waited. The reverse is true for late filers.

Since the program was designed to equalize out a retiree's lifetime benefits, it shouldn't much better when you start your checks as long as you live to an age that's close to your life expectancy. And if your lifetime income probably won't be majorly impacted by when you start your checks, why not claim them ASAP at 62?

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7. Because you're enabling a higher-earning spouse to delay

If your spouse earned more money than you, there are multiple reasons why it can be better if your spouse delays claiming benefits as long as possible.

Your spouse delaying until 70 will allow you to maximize the larger of your two benefits. That will give you more household money. It also maximizes survivor benefits, which the last remaining spouse will receive after one partner dies.

Because it's best for the higher earner to delay, it's common for lower-earning spouses to start their checks at 62 to bring in income to keep the couple afloat until the higher earner claims larger benefits later on.

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8. Because you want to claim before potential benefit cuts

Social Security has a trust fund that it pays benefits out of. The trust fund is expected to be empty by 2035.

When that happens, payroll taxes that fund Social Security will continue to be collected and will provide enough money to pay most of, but not all, the benefits promised to retirees. Unfortunately, this could mean seniors are looking at about a 24% pay cut if lawmakers don't act.

Proposals to stave off this disaster could also end up cutting benefits -- perhaps by changing how raises are calculated or pushing back a retiree's full retirement age.

If you're worried about a benefits cut, you may want to get your checks ASAP before Congress changes the program. That would mean filing for them at the earliest allowable age of 62.

The $17,166 Social Security bonus most retirees completely overlook
If you're like most Americans, you're a few years (or more) behind on your retirement savings. But a handful of little-known "Social Security secrets" could help ensure a boost in your retirement income. For example: one easy trick could pay you as much as $17,166 more... each year! Once you learn how to maximize your Social Security benefits, we think you could retire confidently with the peace of mind we're all after. Simply click here to discover how to learn more about these strategies.

Previous

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9. Because you're worried about the impact of inflation

Although Social Security benefits are supposed to be protected against inflation by periodic cost-of-living adjustments, the reality is that they are losing buying power.

That's because the measure used to calculate these raises isn't as accurate as it should be since it doesn't reflect senior spending habits very well.

If you're worried about inflation eating away at the buying power of benefits, you may want to start getting your checks at 62 before you lose more ground.

ALSO READ: Social Security Recipients May Get a Big Raise in 2022. Here's Why That's a Bad Thing

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10. Because you want to preserve your savings

If you are spending down your savings too fast in an effort to support yourself while you wait to claim Social Security, you could end up regretting that choice.

Withdrawing too much from your savings too soon could mean running your nest egg dry. And that's a huge problem because even if you've maximized your Social Security benefit by waiting to claim it, it's still difficult or impossible to live on these retirement benefits alone.

Rather than trying to boost Social Security and costing yourself your retirement account balance in the process, you'd be better off starting your checks sooner -- even as early as 62.

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11. Because you want to start your benefits well before RMDs

Later in your life, once you've reached age 72, you're going to be required to make required minimum distributions, or RMDs, from your retirement accounts. That means you'll have to take money out of savings.

You may want to get as many years of Social Security benefits as possible before that happens. This can make sense because your RMDs could end up rendering part of your Social Security benefits taxable if they push your income over a certain threshold.

If you're looking to maximize the number of years you get benefits before RMDs start, claiming at 62 is the right move.

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12. Because you know more benefits could be taxed each year

Most people see their income get a little bigger over time -- even retirees. That's because it's necessary to have a higher amount of take-home pay to keep your buying power the same despite the effects of inflation.

Unfortunately, the threshold at which retirees have to pay taxes on Social Security benefits isn't indexed to inflation and doesn't change each year. That means more retirees each year end up getting taxed, and retirees who pay taxes could see a larger portion of their benefits subject to them.

You may decide to claim at 62 and enjoy as much of the money as possible before the IRS begins taking bigger and bigger chunks out of your benefits.

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13. Because you aren't going to rely on your benefits

If you have tons of supplementary retirement savings, then Social Security may provide only a very small percentage of your retirement funds. If you aren't going to need these benefits to make ends meet, you may not care to take steps to maximize them.

Instead, you may just opt to get them as soon as you can so you'll have the extra money to enjoy for more years.

The $17,166 Social Security bonus most retirees completely overlook
If you're like most Americans, you're a few years (or more) behind on your retirement savings. But a handful of little-known "Social Security secrets" could help ensure a boost in your retirement income. For example: one easy trick could pay you as much as $17,166 more... each year! Once you learn how to maximize your Social Security benefits, we think you could retire confidently with the peace of mind we're all after. Simply click here to discover how to learn more about these strategies.

Previous

Next

Person resting by a lake.

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14. Because you want to use your benefits while you're young enough to enjoy them

When you're in the early phases of your retirement, you may be in better physical shape to travel or enjoy your hobbies.

You may prefer to start your checks as soon as possible during these early years so you can get your Social Security benefits while you're still able to use the money for fun purchases.

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A person filling out a Social Security benefits application form.

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Claim Social Security at the right time for you

Claiming Social Security at 62 isn't right for everyone, but it may be the best choice for you if any of these 14 things apply to you.

Ultimately, you'll need to look at your retirement goals and overall financial resources and make an informed choice about the filing strategy most likely to pay off in your situation.

The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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