When it comes to signing up for Social Security, you have choices. You can claim your benefits at the earliest possible age of 62, sign up at full retirement age (which is somewhere between 66 and two months and 67 if you were born in 1955 or later), or delay your filing until the age of 70. And of course you can sign up for benefits at any point during that eight-year window. For example, you might decide to file at 64 based on your personal needs and circumstances, or to claim benefits at 68.
If you wait until full retirement age to sign up for Social Security, you won’t take a hit on your benefits — meaning, you’ll get the amount you’re entitled to based on your earnings history. And if you delay benefits past full retirement age, they’ll increase by 8% a year, up until your 70th birthday.
On the other hand, claiming benefits at any point prior to full retirement age will result in an automatic reduction, the extent of which will depend on how early you file. Slashing your benefits may seem like a bad thing — but here are some reasons why it could pay to file early anyway.