Thinking about when you should file for Social Security benefits? It’s an important decision, because it’s permanent. Once you start receiving benefits, you can’t change your mind. If you file early, you’re likely to see reduced benefit amounts. Similarly, if you delay your filing, your benefit amount will be increased.
You’re eligible to file as early as age 62. However, your benefit is permanently reduced if you file at any point before your full retirement age (FRA). Most people reach their FRA between their 66th and 67th birthdays.1
However, you can wait past your FRA to file for benefits. In fact, you can delay your filing as late as age 70. For each year you wait past your FRA, your benefit amount increases 8 percent. Conversely, your amount could be reduced as much as 25 percent if you file before your FRA.1