What You Need to Know About Social Security Age Increases

March 5, 2024

If you’re turning 65 soon, there are some important decisions that you’ll have to make concerning your health care options. Here’s what you need to know.

If you were born in 1959 your full retirement age is 66 and 10 months. You can start your Social Security retirement benefits as early as age 62, but the benefit amount you receive will be less than your full retirement benefit amount.

As the full retirement age is on the rise, the amount that is deducted from your benefits when claiming them early will climb as well.

Here’s what it means for you.

  • While you may begin receiving benefits as early as age 62 and as late as age 70, the amount you receive will go up the longer you hold off. The longer you can continue to work, the better your financial benefit will be. A risk that is worth considering is not living long enough to pass the break-even date, which is the month when cumulative benefits from the delay of the claiming date match the amount that would have been received by claiming earlier.
  • Retiring early will result in receiving a reduced benefit amount. Keep in mind that this reduction is permanent.
  • The benefit your spouse will receive upon your death is affected by your retirement date. For example, if you take early retirement and then pass away, your surviving spouse will not receive their full benefit retirement amount. Their benefit is dependent on the number of your reduced benefits.

To retire early or not to retire early?

The increase in age for receiving Social Security benefits can have you questioning whether or not you should retire early or stick it out long enough to reach the age at which you could receive the highest benefits.

There are a lot of factors that go into such a decision and each person has unique situations to think about.

  • The state of your and/or your spouse’s health. As people age, medical expenses tend to increase, whether it’s for preventative measures or some type of treatment. Prescription costs alone can be prohibitive. If your health or the health of your spouse is compromised, or even if either of you has a family history of short life spans, it may not make sense to delay retirement.
  • Other sources of income. Having additional sources of income may influence when you decide to retire. If you have enough to live comfortably now and into the future, it may be worth it to go ahead and take the plunge.
  • Debt. A significant amount of debt can be a motivating factor to continue working up until the maximum benefit age. It can be difficult to pay off debt while existing solely on your Social Security benefits.

Take control of your future

Understanding Social Security rules can give you a sense of ownership over your future, but it’s a lot to unwrap. UROne Benefits™ can help you make the right decisions for your retirement. Contact us here or at 800-722-7331.

This post was originally published in January 2019; updated March 2024.