There are a variety of factors that influence how much retirement income seniors get from Social Security. However, the age at which you first begin receiving payments is one of the most crucial decisions you’ll make since it has a significant impact on the amount of money you get in checks.
Unfortunately, over half of all Americans are in danger of making this decision without fully comprehending the ramifications of their decision. According to a recent Nationwide poll, millions of people have a harmful misperception about how their timeframe for claiming benefits would influence their monthly income, which might have serious consequences.
Americans Are Making a Basic — and Perhaps Costly — Error When It Comes to Social Security
A nationwide poll found that around 45 percent of Americans either assume that their Social Security payments would automatically increase once they reach full retirement age (FRA) or are unsure if their benefits will increase at that time, according to the survey results.
Here’s how things really operate in practice.
Retirees have the opportunity to begin receiving benefits as early as age 62, but each senior is assigned a Federal Retirement Age (FRA) depending on the year in which they were born. People reaching 66 in the next four months might be eligible for full retirement at an age as early as 66 and four months. However, for those born in 1960 or after, the age of retirement might be as late as 67.
Early filing penalties will be applied to any senior who begins receiving their retirement payment before reaching their authorized full retirement age. These have the effect of reducing the standard benefit that each senior is entitled to at FRA. The specific impact of early filing fines varies depending on how soon before FRA someone begins receiving their payments, but submitting a claim at age 62 may result in a monthly income cut of up to 30 percent in some cases.
And it is at this point that a major misunderstanding occurs. Close to half of all employees believe that if they suffer a reduction in benefits as a result of filing an early claim, the reduction will not be permanent. According to the results of the Nationwide poll, 45 percent of individuals believe that after they reach their FRA, Social Security will increase their monthly payment. And it is simply not going to happen any time soon.
Discover Why This Social Security Oversight May Be So Detrimental
It is possible for seniors to make a tremendous error by assuming that a loss in benefits due to early filing is just temporary. As a result, they may find themselves with far less retirement money than they anticipated.
Say, for example, that you were eligible for a regular benefit of $1,600 at full retirement age, but you chose to take your retirement benefits earlier than planned, beginning them at age 62 even though your full retirement age is not until age 67. Your monthly income would be reduced to $1,120 as a result of the early filing penalties, and you would lose out on $480 per month, or $5,760 per year, as a result of the 30 percent decrease in benefits.
It’s possible that you’ll only be giving up that money until you reach the age of 67, in which case you won’t be concerned about the “temporary” reduction in income — especially because you’ll gain from having money pouring in right immediately. However, if you understand that you will be limiting your benefits for the rest of your life, things become more complicated.
If you live until the age of 85, reducing your benefits by $5,760 each year would result in you losing out on around $103,680 in income that you might have gotten from age 67 to age 85 if you had simply waited to collect benefits during that period. That’s a significant sum of money.
Of course, if you began receiving benefits at the age of 62 instead of 67, you will have gotten benefits for an additional five years. Five years of retirement benefits totaling $1,120, on the other hand, add up to only $67,200. Ultimately, you’d get $36,480 less over the course of your lifetime if you’d delayed filing and received your full benefit from age 67 to age 85 instead of taking a lower benefit for the rest of your life.
Now, there are some instances in which commencing benefits at the age of 62 makes sense — particularly if you are in bad health and are not expected to survive for a lengthy period of time. However, you’ll want to make an educated judgment about whether or not this is the best option for you before proceeding.
You don’t want to begin receiving your Social Security benefits as soon as possible under the premise that the reduction in payments is merely temporary, only to discover later that your monthly Social Security checks will be less than they could have been throughout the duration of your retirement years.
The $18,984 Social Security Benefit That the Majority of Retirees Fail to Take Advantage of
When it comes to retirement savings, if you’re like the majority of Americans, you’re a few years (or more) behind. However, a few little-known “Social Security secrets” may be able to assist you in ensuring a raise in your retirement income. For example, one simple method might result in you earning up to $18,984 more every year… if you do it consistently! We believe that if you understand how to optimize your Social Security benefits, you will be able to retire securely and with the peace of mind that we all desire.