Encore: Social Security’s retirement age is 70

by | Sep 23, 2022 | Stock Market

An informal survey of staff at the Center for Retirement Research asking “What is the current retirement age for Social Security?” produced a range of responses.  About half — mostly the “old hands” — said 67. The other half — generally younger and newer staff members — gave answers including 62, 65, 66 and 68. In my view, they are all wrong.

Social Security’s retirement age is 70. The fact that people are confused is not surprising. Age 70 is a relatively new development, and most of the conversation about Social Security focuses on the so-called full retirement age.  Currently, workers can claim their benefits at any time between the ages of 62 and 70, but benefits claimed before age 70 are actuarially reduced based on average life expectancy. In other words, the age at which a person claims Social Security affects their monthly benefits but, on average, is intended to not alter total benefits paid over their lifetime. Read: Will Social Security’s COLA for 2023 be high enough? As the table shows, claiming at 62 instead of 70 cuts a sample monthly benefit almost in half, from $1,000 to $565. Given that Social Security is a particularly valuable type of income — adjusted for inflation and lasting as long as you live — it generally makes sense to postpone claiming as long as possible in order to get the highest monthly amount.

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