Social Security Retirement Age Officially Increases in 2018

Statistically speaking, most baby boomers are able to claim their Social Security benefit once they turn 66. However, U.S. citizens about to celebrate their 62nd birthday in 2018 have to delay their plans a bit. In order to claim a full benefit, you now need to delay claiming Social Security for another four months.

Older retirement age is a reality

If you, a friend or a family member turns 62 this year (born in 1956), you should know this. New law suggests that you now have to wait until you are 66 years and 4 months old to claim your full Social Security retirement benefit. By comparison, this is two months longer than for those who turned 66 last year and four months longer than baby boomers born between 1943-1954.

The future also holds many changes regarding this subject. Apparently, the full retirement age will increase continuously every year by two-month increments until it hits 67 for every U.S. citizen born after 1960.

“Those born in 1956 will get less per month at any age that they start Social Security than people one and two years older than them. ” – John Shoven, Stanford University economics professor

Professor Shoven also added that “if you start benefits before the full retirement age, you have to accept a permanent discount in your monthly benefits, and if you start benefits after the full retirement age you get more.”

Bigger reductions for early claiming

Okay, so let’s say your full retirement age is 66 and you start your Social Security benefit at 62. This means that you’ll now get 25% smaller payments. In order to avoid this disadvantage, you can wait a couple of months until you claim your Social Security (or even longer for higher payments).

Example: a 66-year-old worker eligible for $1,000 per month from Social Security can get only $750 per month if he begins payments at age 62.

 Here are other examples and data that help you clarify the change easier:

  • A worker who is 66 years and 4 months old will get 27% smaller payments if he signs up for Social Security at age 62 ($730 on Social Security payment);
  • A worker who is 67 years old will get 30% smaller payments if he signs up for Social Security at age 62.

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