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When It's Okay to Take Your Social Security at 62

Updated: Sep 17, 2021

If you are approaching 62 and thinking about filing for your Social Security benefits before your official Full Retirement Age (FRA), there are some reasons why it might be okay. Here are three:

1. You have plenty of savings for retirement already

If you have plenty of savings or are still working, receiving your first Social Security benefit checks can be a big boon. It could mean some extra income to travel or start a new business venture. Or it could just be a little extra spending money to enjoy earlier.

2. You Are in Poor Health

It’s not fun to think about, but if you aren’t expected to live an average life span, you may lose out on some of what Social Security owes you.

Here’s an example, per USA Today: Imagine you’re entitled to $1,500 a month in benefits at your FRA of 67. Filing at 62 will reduce each payment you get to $1,050, but you’ll collect 60 more payments. You’ll break even in both filing scenarios if you live just past 78 1/2. If you pass away at 72, you’ll come out $36,000 ahead in your lifetime by virtue of having filed early.

3. You don’t have any other income

If you are let go from your job unexpectedly, or if you don’t have any other income coming in, it might be necessary to file for your Social Security.

Finding a new job at an older age can be tough because of age discrimination, so filing early could help pay the bills while you continue to look.

And when you do find that job, you can actually withdraw your application and apply again later if it’s within 12 months of filing. The only downside is you will have to pay back every dollar you received from Social Security if you go this route.

Need more advice on retirement planning? Contact Stevie Swain at Swain Consulting.


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