When to Collect Social Security

Social Security estimates that a man reaching 65 today can expect to live to age 84 on average, a woman to 86.

When to Claim Social Security Benefits

The age when you first claim your benefits is important, because your benefit will be reduced if you begin claiming it before your full retirement age. Depending on your birth year, your full retirement age is anywhere from 66 to 67 years old, as shown in the table below. If you begin claiming your benefit then, you receive the full PIA (primary insurance amount). But the PIA is reduced proportionally if you begin claiming earlier – and, if you do so, you’re locking in the reduced benefit amount for the rest of your life. So think long and hard before deciding to claim early.

Birth Year Full Retirement Age Percent Reduction of PIA If Benefits First Claimed at Age 62
1943–1954 66 25%
1955 66 + 2 months 25.83%
1956 66 + 4 months 26.67%
1957 66 + 6 months 27.50%
1958 66 + 8 months 28.33%
1959 66 + 10 months 29.17%
1960+ 67 30.00%

Calculate Your Social Security Benefits

Have questions about Social Security benefits? Our financial advising firm can help. Use our FMF Social Security Analyzer for information about when and how to collect your benefits.