The Social Security retirement age when a person can start receiving Social Security retirement benefits will remain at age sixty-two, however, the full Social Security retirement age varies from the year they are born. A person can retire at any time between age sixty-two and their full retirement age but if they begin getting benefits at these early ages, the benefits are reduced a fraction of a percent for every month before their full retirement age.

A rule of thumb, early retirement will give a person about the same total Social Security benefits over their lifetime, but in lesser amounts to take into consideration the longer period they will be receiving them. Here is a summary of the year of birth and the equal Full Social Security Retirement Age:

* 1937 or earlier 65 years old

* 1938 65 and two months

* 1939 65 and four months

* 1940 65 and six months

* 1941 65 and eight months

* 1942 65 and ten months

* 1943-1954 66 years old

* 1955 66 and two months

* 1956 66 and four months

* 1957 66 and six months

* 1958 66 and eight months

* 1959 66 and ten months

* 1960 and later 67 years old

For persons born on the 1st of the month, Social Security treats the benefit as if the birthday was the previous month. For persons born on the 1st of January of any year, refer the full retirement age to the previous year.

If the full Social Security retirement age is older than sixty-five, that is if one is born after the year 1937, they will still be able to take their retirement benefits at age sixty-two but the reduction in the amount of benefit will be bigger than it is for people retiring now. Here’s how it operates, if the full retirement age of a person is sixty-seven, the reduction for starting their benefits at sixty-two is about thirty percent; if age sixty-three, it is about twenty-five percent; if age sixty-four, it is about twenty-percent; if age sixty-five, it is about thirteen and one-third percent; and if age 66, it is about six and two-thirds percent.

Age does matter in retirement, if a person retires at age sixty-two they will have reduced benefits, if a person retires at full retirement age they will benefit the maximum amount, and if a person delays retirement after they have reached the full Social Security retirement age, their benefit is increased but will not receive as many payments.

There are advantages as well as disadvantages for persons who decide to take their benefits before the full retirement age. Collecting the benefits for a longer period of time is an advantage, and the benefit is permanently reduced is the disadvantage. Every person has a different situation, so make sure that to contact Social Security before deciding to retire.

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