Social Security is created to give you about 40% of the pre-retirement income. When you reach a certain age, you are able to claim the full Social Security benefits that you have accumulated throughout your working years. The age is called full retirement age. The full retirement age varies based on your birth year. Generally speaking, it ranges from age 65 to age 67, although you may choose to retire as early as the age of 62 and begin to receive the full retirement payments.

However, you should notice that claiming the benefits at 62 can not help you get the entire amount of the payments. Starting to receive the payments early before the full retirement age will let your benefits get reduced by a small percent monthly. If you want to get the full benefits, you still have to wait until you finally reach your full retirement age. What is more, if you postpone taking the benefits until the age 70, the benefit amount will increase accordingly.

You may take the following chart as a reference to find out more details. Notice that the table is based on a benefit of $1,000 per month at full retirement age.

Year of BirthFull Retirement Age (normal condition)At Age 62
(Retirement benefit reduce to)
At Age 62
(Reducing rate)
1943-195466$75025.00%
195566 and 2 months$74125.83%
195666 and 4 months$73326.67%
195766 and 6 months$72527.50%
195866 and 8 months$71628.33%
195966 and 10 months$70829.17%
1960-later67$70030.00%

Tips:

  1. If you were born on January 1st, refer your birthday to the previous year in December.
  2. If you were born on the first day of the month, refer your birthday to the previous month.
  3. To receive the benefits, you must reach at least the age of 62 for the entire month.

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