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3 reasons not to claim social security too early

oha good thing about Social Security is that it is flexible. You don’t have to buy benefits at just one age, but instead get an eight-year production window that starts at 62 and ends at 70. (Technically, you can claim benefits after age 70, but there is no financial reason to wait past your 70th birthday.)

Since 62 is the earliest age to apply for benefits, it is an age that many older people choose. But be aware that for each month that you subscribe to Social Security before your full retirement age (FRA), your benefits will be permanently reduced.

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FRA depends on your year of birth. You can check out this table to see what yours looks like:

year of birth

Full retirement age

1943-1954

66

1955

66 and 2 months

1956

66 and 4 months

1957

66 and 6 months

1958

66 and 8 months

1959

66 and 10 months

1960

67

Data source: Social security administration.

Applying for benefits before FRA is considered an early deposit. And despite that option, here are three reasons why you might not want to do it.

1. Your highest benefit will belong to you for life.

If you are building a large retirement nest egg, there is no guarantee that your savings will last. If your investments are performing poorly, you may not be able to withdraw as much from your IRA or 401 (k) year over year.

On the other hand, if you do not subscribe to Social Security early, you will enjoy the greater benefit that will flow from it for the rest of your retirement. And there is something to be said about this guarantee.

2. Your expenses could be higher than expected

Many people assume that when they retire they won’t spend as much money as when they were working. But even though some of your bills may go down, you shouldn’t necessarily plan to get by on half your old income or less, unless you really make some drastic changes.

That is why it pays to get more money from Social Security. The higher the benefits, the easier it will be to manage your various costs in retirement.

3. You can live longer than expected

In the United States, life expectancy has increased over the years. This is a good thing, but it also poses a financial challenge, namely that you could use up your savings over the course of your life.

This is why you may not want to collect Social Security benefits sooner. If your savings eventually run out, you’ll need Following Social Security money, no less, to offset and meet your expenses as you get older.

What’s the right call?

Lowering the Social Security filing age is not easy, as there are pros and cons of applying for benefits at different times. And in some cases, applying for benefits before FRA makes sense.

But before you embark on this path, think about the downsides of applying for social security early. What if you plan to apply for benefits at 62 years old, you may want to land on a compromise that brings you closer to FRA to minimize the blow you will take. If your FRA is 67, filing at 64 or 65 might turn out to be a better choice than signing up for Social Security when you’re eligible.

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