Full retirement age (FRA), as defined by the Social Security Administration, is the age at which you are eligible to claim 100 percent of your retirement benefits. This age varies depending on your birth year, but for those born after 1960, it’s 67 years. However, you have the option to start taking benefits as early as 62, albeit at a reduced rate.
According to Fox Business, a growing number of Americans are choosing to take Social Security benefits early despite receiving a smaller monthly check. This trend raises a few questions: what does it mean to take benefits early? And what are the reasons behind this decision?
Taking Social Security Benefits Early
Taking Social Security benefits early means that you will receive your first check before FRA. This may seem appealing, as it means getting some financial relief sooner. However, there are some drawbacks to consider. For one, your monthly check will be permanently reduced by a certain percentage depending on how early you start taking benefits. For instance, if your FRA is 67 and you start taking benefits at 62, your checks will be reduced by up to 30 percent. That’s a significant reduction in income over the course of retirement.
But why are more Americans opting for this option? One of the main reasons is a “crisis of confidence” in Social Security. Many people fear that the program may not be sustainable in the long run, and therefore, they want to get their benefits as soon as possible before any changes are made. Personal circumstances, such as poor health or job loss, may also push individuals to take benefits early.
The Seniors Center
The Seniors Center is working on behalf of seniors to protect the future of Social Security. With a better outlook for the program, seniors might not feel the need to rush into taking benefits early. Learn more about our plan to fix Social Security solvency today and sign our online petition to make your voice heard.