When we discuss Social Security claims, you can choose to retire at many different ages. 62 years of age is the earliest time for a worker to retire and receive benefits. Age 70, however, is the oldest you can be to wait on collecting Social Security benefits. Now ages 66 to 67 are in the equations as well considering that’s full retirement age for those born in 1943 or later, respectively.
Actually, of all the ages that qualify you for Social Security benefit, age 69 isn’t exactly the most common choice, but it’s a choice regardless.
Why You Should Choose to Retire at 69
An argument for claiming Social Security at age 69 is that extending your retirement will increase you benefit stipend. For every year you wait to claim Social Security past full retirement age, you’ll receive an 8% raise that will remain for the rest of your life. What that means is if your full retirement age is 67 and you wait two years to claim benefits until 69, you’ll raise your benefits by 16%. So if you find yourself in a situation where you don’t immediately need the money, this is a risk-free and straightforward option to raise the amount of stipend which you deserve.
Another reason to claim Social Security at age 69 is to help compensate for the lack of retirement saving. In 2017, the average amount that senior workers, aged 56 to 61, saved was a mere $17,000 approximately, which is plainly not enough to live on. If you don’t have much in your savings and are relying on Social Security to pay the bills when you’re older, then you need to make a huge effort to raise your benefit as much as possible before it’s too late.
Also, due to people still being in the workforce until they claim Social Security, if you choose to claim at age 69 and earn income in your career for a few more years, you’ll simultaneously save more money, but also increase your Social Security benefit. See, Social Security benefit is determined on your highest 35 years of earnings, so if you replace a few low-income years or zero income years with some higher income years, then your Social Security benefit will rise in response. If you love your job, or can at least tolerate it, and your health is in good shape, then it may pay off, in the long run, to wait and claim Social Security later than sooner.
Click here to learn the opposing argument of why not to wait to apply at age 69.