Historically, a majority of Americans claim benefits prior to reaching their full retirement ages. Whether that's because they need the money or simply don't understand their options isn't clear.
The year you're born determines your (https://www.fool.com/retirement/2018/06/21/when-can-i-collect-my-full-social-security-retirem.aspx) full retirement age , or the age at which you become eligible to receive 100% of your retirement benefit.
Data from the SSA finds that more people are waiting to take Social Security, albeit very few are still waiting until after their full retirement age. At last check, 57% were claiming prior to their full retirement age, with 34.3% signing up at age 62.
For example, while Americans born between 1950 and 1964 could maintain their current full retirement ages of between 66 and 67, the full retirement ages for Americans born after 1965 could be increased by two to four months each year until the average life expectancy at full retirement age returned to approximately 15 to 16 years.
Individuals who are a few years shy of their full retirement age and who are out of work (not necessarily for health reasons) may seek SSDI benefits to avoid the reduction in Social Security retirement benefits associated with an early labor force exit.
For those presently approaching this milestone, the full retirement age is between 66 and 67.
With a full retirement age of 67, the age categories could then be constructed as follows: closely approaching advanced age (55-58.99 years); advanced age (59-62.99 years); closely approaching retirement age (63-66.99 years).
First the Social Security Administration reports that approximately 73% of retired worker beneficiaries elect to begin collecting Social Security benefits before their full retirement age (OASI Monthly Statistics, June 2007, Table 3).
First, should one start receiving benefits before reaching the full retirement age? Second, if benefits are started early, should one continue working?
Social Security benefits are reduced when a person begins collecting benefits before full retirement age, whether working or not.
EXHIBIT 1 Full Retirement and Age 62 Benefits, by Year of Birth Year of Birth Full Retirement Age 1937 or earlier 65 1938 65 years, 2 months 1939 65 years, 4 months 1940 65 years, 6 months 1941 65 years, 8 months 1942 65 years, 10 months 1943-1954 66 1955 66 years, 2 months 1956 66 years, 4 months 1957 66 years, 6 months 1958 66 years, 8 months 1959 66 years, 10 months 1960 and later 67 Source: Section 723.5 of the Social Security Handbook.
This means that some people can collect early benefits up to 48 months before full retirement age, and others only up to 47 months.