A United States citizen’s decision to apply for Social Security is entirely personal. No one, not even the SSA, can force a worker to quit his or her job, so you can apply for your retirement benefit whenever you want. But there are several things to consider. If you want to apply for Early Retirement Age (ERA), you should know all the disadvantages it may offer with respect to your family.
Your spouse may see an increase or decrease in his or her future benefit from Social Security. Sometimes we do not take these details into account, but it is true that applying for an ERA means a 20% to 30% reduction in the final benefit. This reduction means a reduction in future payments to your spouse, as we will see below. But all these problems have a really easy-to-implement solution, so there’s still time to fix it.
Applying for an ERA from Social Security affects your spouse
The main thing to keep in mind here is that your spouse will receive a smaller benefit in the future. If you start collecting your Social Security at age 62, you will collect less money on a monthly basis. This will cause the survivor benefit to be lower as well. This benefit is calculated based on the deceased spouse’s retirement benefit.
By waiting until age 70 before retiring, you can significantly increase your benefit. Taking this into account, the survivor benefit will also increase. The change can be noticeable, as the difference can be more than 50%. Therefore, it is not good to have ERA with Social Security as your only option.
Is ERA or FRA better?
Thus, choosing between ERA and FRA is only a personal question, but it is very important to have a good amount in the monthly benefit. If you have any trouble figuring out what your final benefit will be, you can always use a Social Security calculator. It will help you get an approximate figure of what your benefit will be.
Once you know all that you can decide, although you should keep your spouse and his or her future in mind in case, unfortunately, he or she has to claim survivor’s benefit. Now that you know this information, you can make a better decision.