Many seniors opt to sign up for Social Security at age 62, which is the earliest age you can begin to claim benefits. But if you want the full monthly benefit you’re entitled to based on your personal earnings history, you’ll need to wait until full retirement age, or FRA, to file. This year, however, a large number of seniors are at risk of signing up for Social Security at the wrong time. Here’s why.
FRA isn’t universal. Rather, it differs based on the year a given applicant was born.
FRA was 66 on the nose for anyone born between 1943 and 1954. But for those born in 1955, FRA increases to 66 and two months. If you’re turning 66 this year, you may be inclined to file for benefits immediately and start collecting your money. But if you’re actually not entitled to your full monthly benefit until 66 and two months, you’ll shrink that payment on a permanent basis by signing up a couple of months ahead of schedule.