The last time the Social Security Administration made changes to the retirement age was nearly 40 years ago, and those rules still apply today. Although some lawmakers have proposed changing retirement age thresholds to help stabilize Social Security’s finances, that hasn’t happened yet. There have been no recent changes to the retirement age and there will be none later in 2023, either.
The Social Security Amendments of 1983 contained two provisions that impact when someone decides to retire, according to the SSA. One was an increase in the retirement age that first affected individuals retiring in 2000. The other was an increase in the delayed retirement credit for those who work beyond full retirement age.
The biggest change back then was that the age for collecting full Social Security retirement benefits gradually increased from 65 to 67 years old. The age when you can first apply for benefits remained at 62.
Today, the same full retirement age (FRA) rules apply. Waiting until your FRA to collect benefits ensures that you avoid the smaller monthly payments that come with applying early.
Here’s a look at the current FRA based on year of birth:
- If you were born between 1943 and 1954, your full retirement age is 66 years old.
- If you were born in 1955 your FRA is 66 and 2 months.
- If you were born in 1956 your FRA is 66 and 4 months.
- If you were born in 1957 your FRA is 66 and 6 months.
- If you were born in 1958 your FRA is 66 and 8 months.
- If you were born in 1959 your FRA is 66 and 10 months.
- If you were born in 1960 or later your FRA is 67.
There will be one minor difference in 2023 compared to years past, however. As Motley Fool reported, those who file for early benefits at age 62 in 2023 will have the same FRA their year-older peers did in 2022. That hasn’t happened since 2000.
For the vast majority of Americans, it is best to wait as long as possible to collect Social Security benefits. Collecting at age 62 could shave your monthly payment by as much as 30% vs. waiting until full retirement age.
Delaying your benefits until age 70 guarantees the maximum monthly payment — and could potentially boost your finances by more than $180,000, according to a Federal Reserve study. Waiting beyond age 70 has no financial advantage.
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