Retirement

The Best Age for YOU to Retire

May 12, 2015 • By

A smiling older man outside holding binoculars You may be trying to figure out what the most beneficial age is to say goodbye to your colleagues at the office. This is one of the most important and challenging decisions you’ll make in your life. When you decide to retire affects not only you, but it could have serious, long-lasting consequences for your family members, too. The answer is not the same for everybody, and I’m going to share some information that can help you make an informed decision based on your own personal situation.

If you delay receiving your Social Security until age 70, the monthly amount is 32 percent more than you would get at full retirement age.

From a Social Security standpoint, you can start getting lower benefits as early as age 62, or you can delay retirement up to age 70 for your maximum monthly benefit amount.

For example: Let’s say your full retirement age for Social Security benefits is 66, and your monthly benefit at that age is $1,000. Here’s what your monthly benefit would be, starting at different ages:

* Age 62 = $750
* Age 63 = $800
* Age 64 = $866
* Age 65 = $933
* Age 66 = $1,000
* Age 67 = $1,080
* Age 68 = $1,160
* Age 69 = $1,240
* Age 70 = $1,320

At age 62, your benefit amount is about 25 percent lower than your full benefit at age 66. If you delay receiving your Social Security until age 70, the monthly amount is 32 percent more than you would get at full retirement age. From 62 to 70, that comes to a monthly increase of $570 or $6,840 a year.

When to retire is a personal decision that you should base on factors such as your current cash needs, your health, and family longevity, whether you have other retirement income sources, and of course, your anticipated future financial needs and obligations. Remember, the average retirement will last for about 20 years, and Social Security benefits are typically adjusted annually for inflation to help maintain your standard of living. For more information, visit www.socialsecurity.gov.

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About the Author

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Doug Walker, Deputy Commissioner, Communications

Deputy Commissioner, Office of Communications

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  10. julie

    If I retire in August at 62, does the wages I earned prior to retirement count towards the $17,000 max I can make per year?

    • Ray Fernandez, Public Affairs Specialist

      Great question, Julie. No, we only count your earnings up to the month before your retirement date. Social Security beneficiaries who are under full retirement age for all of 2018, are considered retired in any month that their (gross) earnings are $1,420.
      Please visit our “Special Earnings Limit Rule” and “Getting Benefits While Working” web pages for more information on this topic. Thanks!

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