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At What Age Can I Start Collecting Retirement Benefits?

At what age can I start collecting retirement benefits? Your full retirement age is decided by your year of birth, but anyone can collect them at age 62. However, collecting before your full retirement age has downfalls.

Determining Age

It will depend on the year you were born to determine what age you can start collecting retirement benefits. The social security administration follows this chart to determine what age you receive full retirement benefits.
Year of Birth Full Retirement Age
1937 65
1938 65 and 2 months
1939 65 and 4 months
1940 65 and 8 months
1942 65 and 10 months
1943-1954 66
1955 66 and 2 months
1956 66 and 4 months
1957 66 and 6 months
1958 66 and 8 months
1959 66 and 10 months
1960 or later 67
*if you were born on January 1 then you should consider your birth year as the previous year.

Why Wait Until After Age 62

You are allowed to receive your retirement benefits at age 62, but there are repercussions to doing this. If you do not wait until your full retirement age then you will lose benefits and the amount of money that you would receive. You usually will want to keep in mind your life expectancy before deciding on retiring early. If you have a long life expectancy then you should probably try to wait as long as you can until you retire. People that are single should also strongly consider waiting until their full retirement age because they will need to receive as much money at retirement as they can. If you earn in excess of the annual earnings limit and you take your benefits before your full retirement age then your benefits will be reduced. If you make excess of the annual earnings limit then you will be able to collect as many benefits as you are required and your benefits will not be reduced. Taking benefits at age 62 will also take away any survivor’s benefits that your family could receive after your death.

So the answer to the age that you can start collecting retirement benefits is 62, but you will usually want to wait until your full retirement age. Your retirement age is determined by your year of birth.

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