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What is the average Social Security check at 62 and how to get the 100 %?

We tell you what the average Social Security check is at age 62 and how you can get 100%, as well as the factors that influence getting it.

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Social Security is a critical component of retirement planning for many Americans. One of the most common questions people ask is, “What is the average Social Security check at 62, and how can I ensure I receive 100 percent of my benefits?” Let’s delve into these questions to provide clarity and guidance.

The rour variables used in calculating your Social Security benefit

While there’s no denying that Social Security can, at times, be more complex than it needs to be, the variables used by the Social Security Administration (SSA) to calculate your benefit are straightforward:

  • Work history
  • Earnings history
  • Full retirement age
  • Claiming age

The average Social Security check at 62

As of the latest data, the average Social Security check for a retiree at age 62 is approximately $1,298 per month. This figure represents a reduced benefit because beneficiaries who elect to take Social Security at 62 do not receive the full amount they would if they waited until their Full Retirement Age (FRA). The reduction can be up to 30%, which is a permanent decrease in monthly benefits.

Achieving full benefits

To receive 100 percent of your Social Security benefits, you must wait until you reach your FRA. For those born in 1960 or later, the FRA is 67 years. If you claim benefits at this age, you’ll receive the full benefit amount calculated based on your earnings history.

Why Is 62 a popular age to start claiming benefits?

What makes age 62 the most popular of all claiming ages is the fact that eligible workers don’t have to wait to get their hands on their benefit. This is to say they can put this cash to work while they’re still young enough to enjoy it.

Additionally, the latest Social Security Board of Trustees Report estimates that the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund, which is responsible for paying benefits each month to retired workers and survivor beneficiaries, is on pace to deplete its asset reserves by 2033. If this excess capital is exhausted, benefits may need to be slashed by 21% to ensure no further need for reductions.

Maximizing your benefits

If you delay taking Social Security benefits past your FRA, you can increase your monthly benefit. For each year you delay, up to age 70, your benefit grows by about 8%. This delayed retirement credit can significantly boost your monthly check, and the increased amount is locked in for the rest of your life.

Strategies for reaching 100 percent

Here are some strategies to help you reach 100 percent of your Social Security benefits:

  • Work at Least 35 Years: Your benefit is calculated based on your 35 highest-earning years. Working less than 35 years means that zeros are averaged into your benefit calculation, reducing the overall amount.
  • Maximize Earnings: Since benefits are based on your earnings record, earning more during your working years can increase your benefit amount. The Social Security Administration adjusts your earnings for inflation, so earlier years of work are not disadvantaged.
  • Delay Benefits: As mentioned, delaying benefits past your FRA can increase your monthly check. If you can afford to wait, this is a surefire way to maximize your Social Security income.
  • Check for Errors: Review your Social Security earnings record for accuracy. Any errors could reduce your benefit amount, so it’s important to correct them as soon as possible.

Conclusion

The decision of when to take Social Security benefits is personal and depends on various factors, including your health, financial needs, and retirement goals. While the average check at 62 provides early access to funds, waiting until your FRA or beyond can significantly increase your monthly benefit.

By understanding how benefits are calculated and what steps you can take to maximize your Social Security income, you can make an informed decision that best suits your retirement plan. Remember, planning ahead and being strategic about when you claim Social Security can make a substantial difference in your financial security during retirement.

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