Because Social Security eligibility kicks in at age 62, many seniors rush to claim benefits as early as possible. But there’s a downside to filing at 62: reducing your benefits by taking them ahead of full retirement age (FRA). For today’s workers, FRA is either 66, 67, or 66 and a certain number of months – it all depends on your year of birth. Either way, filing at 62 means taking benefits early and reducing them in the process.
What sort of reduction are we talking about? If you’re looking at an FRA of 67, filing at 62 will slash your benefits by 30%. And unless you happen to undo your application in time, once you lock in that lower benefit, it’ll remain in effect for the rest of your life.
Now there are certain circumstances under which claiming benefits at 62 makes sense. But these three reasons for filing early just don’t.