The retirement age in the United States is at least 62. This means that you can retire at age 55 and stop working, but until age 62 you cannot apply for Social Security. With this in mind, it is normal for many people to wonder if applying for Social Security at 62 or 67 is the same thing. It is not the same and each situation is totally different, as the amount of money is less the younger you stop being a worker.
Therefore, knowing what the average Social Security benefit is at age 62 is really important. The drop in the amount of money is noticeable and you may notice that you will have less money to live day to day, but you should know all the factors of applying for Full Retirement Age (FRA) before you begin the retirement process.
Average Social Security benefits for 62-year-olds
For workers born between 1943 and 1954, the Social Security Administration has announced that the full retirement age is 66. If you retire at age 62, your retirement benefit would take a 25% reduction. This means that if we are talking about a supposed benefit of $1,000 per month, you will receive only $750 per month. In this sense, the spousal benefit would also drop from $500 to $350 per month.
The years of difference between age 62 and Full Retirement Age (FRA) are the key in this account. If you were born in 1960 or later, your benefit will see a 30% reduction if you apply at age 62. This means that $1,000 you will receive only $700. Add to this that the spousal benefit is reduced by 35%.
With this calculation in mind we can know, according to data from the Social Security Administration, that the average benefit in 2021 was $1,480 per month. This calculation is made through the average salary during the worker years. As for the spousal benefit, the figure would be $2,170 per month with retirement at age 62.
How can I increase my benefit at age 62?
When calculating the amount of money we will receive in Social Security, there are 3 main factors: the age of retirement, the years worked and the salary as a worker. If we decide to apply for retirement at age 62, we can only change the other two factors. Therefore, in order to increase the retirement benefit at 62 we must maximize these two elements.
Thus, we have to focus our attention on getting to work for at least 35 years. Every year not worked adds $0 to our average, which brings it down in a very direct way. On the other hand, having a good salary for part of those 35 years will also increase the benefit considerably, so don’t forget this part.