The Upside of Claiming Social Security Early at Age 62
While delaying Social Security benefits until age 70 maximizes your monthly check, claiming at the earliest age of 62 still has advantages. Although your payment is reduced by up to 30% compared to your full retirement age, you'll receive income for an additional 8 years.
This can help cover essential expenses if you retire early or have limited other income sources.
The 8 years of additional income from starting at age 62 versus 70 amounts to almost $200,000 more over your lifetime for the average benefit. Although the monthly amount is smaller, the extra years of payments help offset much of the reduction.
If your health or family history suggests a shorter lifespan, claiming early may provide more total benefits even with the reduced check.
You'll also have more flexibility and control over your investments and retirement accounts if you claim Social Security at 62. The income can help avoid large required minimum distributions (RMDs) from your IRA or 401(k) that typically start at age 72.
The smaller RMDs mean less taxable income and a lower chance of the Social Security benefits being taxable.
While delaying until age 70 remains the best choice for maximizing lifetime income for most people, claiming at 62 provides financial and tax benefits as well as more security.
For those with little savings or who retire early, the additional 8 years of Social Security income can be crucial for covering essential expenses during retirement. Consider your unique financial and health situation to determine if taking benefits at the earliest age makes sense for your needs.