Is 67 the Optimal Age to Claim Social Security?


You can sign up for Social Security at a variety of ages. The earliest one is age 62. And while there’s no official latest age for claiming benefits, filing beyond age 70 doesn’t make sense because once you turn 70, you’ll stop accruing the delayed retirement credits that boost your Social Security benefits for life.

In the middle of that range is age 67, also known as full retirement age (FRA) for Social Security purposes for anyone born in 1960 or later. FRA is when you can start receiving your full Social Security benefit based on your wage history without a reduction.

It’s important to note that there’s really no such thing as the “right” age to claim Social Security, as that’s a personal and individual decision. But if you have no idea when to start taking your benefits, you might want to land on age 67, assuming it’s FRA for you. Here’s why.

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Claiming Social Security at 62 will mean having to accept a lower monthly benefit for the rest of your life. That’s not ideal, even if it gets you your money sooner. If your savings run out, a lower benefit could resign you to a cash-strapped existence.

Meanwhile, delaying Social Security until age 70 will mean scoring a higher monthly payday for life. That’s a good thing, but what may not be so wonderful is having to wait that long to first receive money from Social Security.

That’s why age 67 could be your best choice when it comes to taking benefits. You won’t slash your monthly payments, but you also won’t have to wait an unreasonably long amount of time to start getting your money.

In fact, a lot of people will tell you that claiming Social Security at FRA is akin to filing “on time.” And that has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?

Also, by the time you turn 67, you’ll be eligible for Medicare (which you can technically sign up for once you turn 65, but you might choose to delay if you have health coverage through a job). If you haven’t signed up already, you can do so and pay your Part B premiums out of your Social Security benefits.

Filing for Social Security at age 67 won’t be the best choice for everyone. It’s probably not the right filing age for someone with health issues who’s unlikely to live very long. Someone in that boat may want to file sooner to get more lifetime Social Security income. And it may not be right for someone with zero savings who needs all of the money from Social Security they can get.

But if you have average health, an average level of savings, and a desire to retire at a reasonable age, then age 67 could be a great choice for claiming Social Security. It may not be the prefect age, but it’s questionable whether that concept even exists.

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