Understanding Your Social Security Full Retirement Age and Making Informed Decisions

Deciding when to take your retirement benefit can impact your financial future. Options range from taking early retirement benefits to waiting until full retirement age.

At What Age Do You Receive The Maximum Social Security Benefits?

At age 62, you can begin receiving Social Security benefits. However, you are only entitled to the full benefits upon reaching your social security full retirement age (FRA).

Delaying retirement can increase benefits through delayed retirement credits. Primary beneficiaries who retire at their FRA receive 100% of their primary insurance — and their spouse can receive 50%.

Your Social Security benefits are taxed (up to 80%) depending on your other income. You can use Form SSA-1099 to determine if your benefits are subject to tax and the tax rate. You can make estimated tax payments if you have to pay social security taxes.

Consider your cash needs to determine when to take Social Security retirement benefits. If you have other sources of income and can be flexible, you may benefit from delaying taking benefits.

By receiving your Social Security benefits before FRA — and continuing to work — you will have temporarily reduced benefits. When you reach full retirement age, the reduction reduces. Once you reach FRA, your benefits no longer reduce, regardless of how much you earn.

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