Why You Should Start Taking Social Security Benefits at 62
Everyone thinks you should start taking their benefits at 67. Here's why everyone might be wrong, and why you might want to start taking Social Security benefits at 62 instead.
Ah, Social Security. It's a boon for all those who want to retire or just cut down on work during their old age. After paying into it for decades, every American citizen will get the change to qualify for payouts that can help them live a comfortable lifestyle in retirement.
Once you're qualified to get benefits, it's time to decide whether or not you want to be an early retiree or a later retiree. The earliest you can begin taking benefits is at age 62, while the latest you can retire is typically 70 years of age.
More people are considering taking Social Security benefits at 62, and you know what? They may be right to do so. Here are some of the best reasons why taking your retirement at 62 might be a good idea.
First, let's talk about why people advise against taking Social Security benefits at 62.
62 is the youngest age you can enjoy taking out your retirement benefits, and Uncle Sam isn't too happy about people taking out early retirements. As a result, the government slaps a penalty on people who take out retirement benefits at this age.
Depending on a variety of factors, the decrease in payouts can make a massively negative impact on your retirement. If you expect to have a long lifespan, this might not be the best choice for you.
To avoid paying the penalty, you would have to start collecting at age 67. From 67 until 70, you get to enjoy even more benefits than what's considered to be standard.
Now that you know the arguments against retiring early, let's see why it might be a good idea for you.
Though it's definitely rare, the truth is that there are many people who have spent the past 30 years meticulously planning for retirement. They have full 401(k)s, great Roth IRAs, and might even have some high-end CD ladders to help them live life.
If you've run the math and realized that you have enough to retire on, you absolutely should consider taking Social Security benefits at 62. After all, you should enjoy retirement and collect benefits as you see fit.
If you really, truly hate your job, it's okay to use those benefits to leave once and for all.
There are plenty of people throughout the United States who never want to quit their jobs. You might not be one of them, and if you're not, don't worry. It's common enough to hate your job to the point that it upsets you or just hurts your health.
If taking Social Security benefits at 62 would allow you to quit that job, then you're in luck. You have that option, and you would be able to do whatever you wanted afterward.
Taking Social Security benefits at 62 can also allow you to start up your own company, if you so choose.
Believe it or not, many baby boomers are eschewing retirement in favor of starting their own business. Many businesses don't require much startup costs, with some being as low as $100 per month.
People who choose to start a business later in life have their work cut out for them. Thankfully, the good news is that you don't have to worry about the cash flow as much. Social Security can help you take care of that.
Though we all like to think that we'd live to 100, the truth is that many people have shorter lifespans. If you already know that you're exhibiting serious health issue signs, then it doesn't make sense to wait until you're 70 to get the benefits you're entitled to.
Your main goal in retirement should be to enjoy the hard work you put in, and if you don't feel you're going to live much longer, then that means that you will need to consider taking Social Security benefits at 62.
In some cases, the conditions you have could allow you to get additional disability benefits. It's a good idea to talk with a professional if you think this could be the case.
There's also a chance that you may legitimately need the money.
You don't have to be 70 in order to run into financial problems due to a medical condition, you know! If you recently had a serious scrape, taking Social Security benefits at 62 may be a good way to recover the money you lost and also take the rest you need.
You could have started to invest for retirement at age 30 and still need the money for one reason or another. It's okay to claim benefits that you could really use.
Job downsizing has also been an increasingly difficult issue for people who have been wanting to delay retirement.
A now-common scenario for people on the edge of retirement is to go to work as usual, then to get called into their boss's office. Regrettably, the boss gives them the heads up that they are being let go due to company downsizing.
The problem with elderly individuals who have this happen is that they don't always have a side job to fall back on. They may try to talk to someone about retirement. Some might even ask, "What retirement?"
In these cases, taking Social Security benefits at 62 is a good way to avoid being destitute in your old age.
There's also a chance that you may not have any retirement income aside from your Social Security benefits.
While it's not very common, there are people who do not have any form of retirement savings or investments to keep them afloat once they are done working. Whether it's due to personal tragedy or just serious issues with controlling spending doesn't matter.
Simply put, if you don't have a retirement fund aside from what Uncle Sam gives you, it may be a good idea to consider taking Social Security benefits at 62 while you figure out what you need to do in order to make ends meet.
Still more people who retired early might just want extra cash on the side.
There are plenty of people who have retired at 40, 50, or 60. If you're one of those people, then taking your benefits at the young age of 62 might actually just lead you to having a nice boost of income—which can translate into a very nice increase in your lifestyle.
Retirement's the next phase in your life. You might as well enjoy the luxuries if you have managed to retire young.
Overall, there are no solid rules when it comes to timing.
No one will stop you from taking Social Security benefits at 62, nor will they deride you if you choose to wait. The truth is that every person and their lifestyle will be different. As a result, it's up to you to determine whether retirement at 62 (and the benefits package) is right for you.
Iggy Paulsen is a fan of anything and everything wholesome. He loves his two dogs, hiking in the woods, traveling to Aruba, building DIY projects that better humanity, and listening to motivational speakers. He hopes to eventually become a motivational speaker himself.