For all United States citizens there is the question of when it is best to retire on Social Security. Retiring at Early Retirement Age (ERA) has its advantages, as does retiring at Full Retirement Age (FRA). The final decision is entirely personal, so it all depends on each person’s situation. Applying for Social Security retirement is something we can do whenever we want, as long as we meet certain requirements, so it is good to have all the information.
If you are thinking about retiring in the next few years but don’t know whether to do it with ERA or FRA, this information will come in handy. The advantages and disadvantages of ERA and FRA are several, so you should know all of them and then act as is best for your personal situation.
After learning all these details, you will be able to decide when is the best time for your personal situation. Each person can apply for Social Security at any time he or she prefers, since the SSA cannot force workers to stop working. Let’s take a look at those pros and cons.
Pros and Cons of Applying for the Social Security ERA
If you apply to the Social Security Administration for Early Retirement Age, you should be aware that you won’t have all of your retirement money at your disposal. But that’s not the only thing about this arrangement.
- You will be able to enjoy the money longer: If you apply for ERA at age 62, you will have more time to enjoy your retirement and your Social Security money.
- You will gain in health: Your health will improve because you will not go to work every day and you will have time to rest and do anything for leisure.
- You will receive less money: The final amount of your Social Security retirement benefit will be reduced by 20% or so. This doesn’t matter if you have a high retirement, but with low payments, you may struggle with monthly bills.
- You will not have Medicare: Until age 65 you do not have access to Medicare, so you should be careful with your hospital bills.
Pros and Cons of filing for the FRA with the SSA
On the other hand, if you prefer to wait for the FRA, you may have some benefits, mostly financial.
- You will receive more money every month: your monthly Social Security payment will increase to the maximum of what you can receive. The final amount of money will depend on your work history and your lifetime earnings level.
- You will have extra savings: If you have worked and saved for all those years, you will have a large savings when you reach your FRA. This can also happen with the ERA, but by age 67 you have had more time to do so.
- You will have less time to enjoy it: applying for Social Security retirement at age 67 may be too late for many people. It is true that you will receive more money every month, but you may not be able to enjoy it for much longer.
- Your health could be worse: Health can get worse as the years go by. If you apply for retirement with the FRA, you could be in worse health.