Social Security vs. Retirement Age Increase: How This Could Affect You

Financial advisor explaining paperwork to elderly retired couple front of desk.
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The retirement age-old standard used to be when you reached age 65 you could sit back, relax and collect the maximum benefit amount from your supplemental security income. The promise of full benefits lets you plan for a future where you can live comfortably even after you’re done working. Now, with suggested gradual increases in the retirement age, the question is, just when will that future begin?

Read: 3 Ways to Recession Proof Your Retirement

Social Security Retirement Benefits: Quick Take

Social Security retirement benefits are monthly benefits delivered to you as a supplemental income after you stop working and retire. You receive benefits based on your former income and lifetime earnings. Even though claiming benefits means you’ll receive these monthly checks, it is important to note that they will not be in the amount of your full income, so you may have to supplement your retirement in other ways or delay retirement altogether.

Here are some key takeaways:

  • New retirees: You can receive full Social Security benefits only once you reach the full retirement age.
  • Early retirement: Say you try to retire early at age 62, which is the earliest eligibility age, you’ll receive permanently reduced monthly benefits. 
  • Delayed retirement: If you push your retirement until after full retirement age, you’ll receive permanently increased benefits.
  • Full retirement age: 65 was considered the full retirement age for most of Social Security’s history. 
  • Gradual Increases: In 1983, the age of retirement was raised to 67, effectively cutting benefits by 13%. 
  • Proposed new age: House conservatives are pushing to move the age to 69 or even to age 70, which would effectively cut currently scheduled benefits by nearly 20% if it goes through.
Are You Retirement Ready?

The Proposed Retirement Age Increases

Just because the average American now has a better chance of living longer than when Social Security benefits were created, does not mean they’ll be thrilled with the prospect of now having to work longer as well. House conservatives are reasoning that these gradual increases make sense as people are living longer, as well as other factors. However, it’s little comfort to those who won’t see any modest benefits until much later in life. 

The proposed retirement age increases put forth by the House Republican Study Committee would gradually increase the retirement age. As it stands now, it would push it until age 69 to any of those turning 62 in 2033. 

Current Retirement Age Based on Date of Birth

If the retirement age does get increased, it would be done so gradually. Below is the current retirement age based on birth year, so you can see how gradual increases would be implemented in the future. 

Birth Year Retirement Age
1943-1954 66
1955 66 and 2 months
1956 66 and 4 months
1957 66 and 6 months
1958 66 and 8 months
1959 66 and 10 months
1960 and later 67

How Raising the Full Retirement Age Cuts Social Security Benefits

Depending on the year you were born, you may or may not be more confident as to when you will actually be allowed to retire and afford it. Though Social Security is always a political hot-button issue, without retirement age increases or cuts will the U.S. be able to avoid complete depletion of the fund? Raising the retirement age to 69 would cut the expected average lifetime benefits by almost 20% to 23%. 

Are You Retirement Ready?

By most standards, Social Security benefits are already modest to low enough to not be able to live solely off of, so cutting them more would hurt, especially those who count on them most. 

Final Take To GO: Retiring Early vs. Working Longer 

Social Security is the lifeline for a majority of the working population. Even given that fact, most people fear it won’t be around for them when they financially and finally get to retire. It’s a delicate balance between having enough to live off of and having a high quality of life when you eventually get to stop working. 


Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about social security benefits and your retirement age.
  • How much social security do I get at retirement?
    • The amount of social security you get depends on at what age you retire. In 2023, if you retire at full retirement age, your maximum benefit would be $3,627. Whereas, if you retire at age 62, your maximum benefit would be $2,572. If you retire at age 70, your maximum benefit would be $4,555.
  • What is my full social security retirement benefit?
    • Your full social security retirement benefit depends on what year you were born. Here is the breakdown for current social security standings by year of birth and age.
      • -1943-1954: 66
      • -1955: 66 and 2 months
      • -1956: 66 and 4 months
      • -1957: 66 and 6 months
      • -1958: 66 and 8 months
      • -1959: 66 and 10 months
      • -1960 and later: 67


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