Starting at age 62, any United States citizen who has worked for at least 10 years can apply for Social Security. But it is not mandatory to do so at that age, as we can do it at any other time. That is the minimum age, not the mandatory or maximum age. It is very common for many seniors to wait until age 65 to start collecting Social Security benefits.
Since each person is totally different and each U.S. citizen can apply for the pension when it suits him or her best, we need to know the conditions. On the one hand, claiming the pension at age 62 is fine, but we have a penalty. The money contributed will go down by 30%. This means that the Social Security check would go from $1,000 to $700, taking $1,000 as an example.
Although it is true that retiring at age 62 has many advantages, doing so lowers our monthly check. Therefore, it may be a good option to wait a little longer and delay retirement. After the age of 70 there are no further advantages, so it is better to apply for Social Security before reaching that age.
And that is where the Full Retirement Age comes into play. To apply for FRA, you must reach age 67 without having applied for Social Securitybefore. By waiting until the age of 67, we will receive a check with 100% of the money contributed. In this mode, there will be no discount of any kind on our retirement pension.
Advantages of applying for the FRA from Social Security
There are several advantages that make applying for the Social Security Full Retirement Age the best option available to seniors in the United States.
You will collect 100% of the money contributed. All of the money you contributed as a worker will count toward your monthly check. If you apply for retirement early, Social Security will take a portion of that check.
You will have a larger check. Each year you work after you turn 62 increases your Social Security check. Working until 67 will not only give you a full check with no 30% reduction, but it will be larger because of the extra time contributing.
You will be able to save more. Working longer allows you to save more money. Your salary as a worker is always higher than your pension as a retiree. So before collecting Social Security, you will be able to save more money.
Medicare. From the age of 65 you will have the option of applying for Medicare. So another financial advantage to consider with full retirement.
When you start collecting Social Security you can keep working, so you may want to consider that option. If your check is too small, look for a part-time job to supplement it.