20 reasons to take social security early: Updated 2023

20 reasons to take social security early

Permanently Left Workforce: Taking Social Security early provides steady income for those who have left the workforce.

Financial Emergency: Early benefits offer crucial relief during unexpected crises like medical expenses or home repairs.

Debt Elimination: Social Security benefits can help pay off high-interest debt for a fresh financial start.

Early Retirement: Supplement income if retiring before reaching full retirement age.

Maximize Spousal Benefits: Optimal for spouses to claim benefits while the other continues working.

Health Concerns: Individuals with health issues may opt for early benefits for lifetime enjoyment.

Immediate Living Expenses: Early Social Security ensures immediate funds for basic living expenses.

Personal Goals: Whether for passion, travel, or family support, early benefits fulfill personal goals.

Life Expectancy Concerns: Address concerns about not being around to collect benefits later in life.

High-Interest Debt: Alleviate the burden of high-interest debt for improved financial stability.

Inability to Work: Essential financial support for those unable to continue working due to health or circumstances.

Confidence in Investments: Some may choose early benefits to invest confidently and achieve higher returns.

Sole Qualification for Benefits: If the individual is the sole eligible party based on their work record, early benefits may be practical.

Concerns About Social Security Solvency: Secure entitlements due to worries about the program’s long-term financial stability.

Limited Earning Increase: Accessing savings or boosting earnings may be challenging, making early benefits a viable option.

Confidence in Investment Abilities: Choose early benefits and invest based on confidence in personal investment capabilities.

Early Retirement Enthusiasts: Optimal for those retiring early to support desired lifestyle and leisure activities.

35 Highest-Earning Years Accumulated: If 35 years of substantial earnings are reached, consider early benefits for immediate returns.

Financial Emergency Post-Layoff at Age 62 or Older: Mitigate the impact of a layoff by accessing early Social Security benefits.

Launching Next Life Phase: Support new ventures or endeavors by utilizing early Social Security benefits.

These are the most important reasons to take social security early.

What is the minimum age to take social security benefits?

The earliest age to start receiving Social Security retirement benefits is 62 years old.

  1. Benefit Reduction before Full Retirement Age: Starting benefits before reaching full retirement age results in a lower benefit amount.
  2. Reduction Calculation: The reduction in benefits is calculated based on the number of months you receive benefits before reaching full retirement age.
  3. Delayed Benefits Increase: Conversely, delaying benefits from full retirement age to age 70 increases the benefit amount.
  4. Percentage Reduction for Early Benefits: Each month before full retirement age that you start receiving benefits leads to a small percentage reduction.
  5. Example Reduction: If you turn 62 in 2023, your benefit would be approximately 30% lower than at the full retirement age of 67.
  6. Long-Term Impact Consideration: Starting Social Security early has a significant long-term impact on the total benefits received.
  7. Consulting Financial Advisor: It’s crucial to consult with a financial advisor for personalized guidance based on individual circumstances and financial goals.

How does taking social security benefits at age 62 affect retirement income?

Reduced Benefit Amount:

  • Starting Social Security before full retirement age results in a lower benefit amount.
  • Reduction calculated based on the number of months received before reaching full retirement age.
  • Example: If turning 62 in 2023, the benefit would be about 30% lower than at the full retirement age of 67.

Delayed Retirement Credits:

  • Waiting until age 70 to start benefits increases the amount due to delayed retirement credits.
  • Credits earned for each month of delay, leading to a higher benefit amount.

Impact on Spousal Benefits:

  • Taking Social Security early affects spousal benefits.
  • Retiring at age 62 results in a lower benefit, impacting benefits available to the spouse.

Working While Receiving Benefits:

  • Working after starting benefits may lead to withholding if earnings exceed the yearly limit.
  • Special rules for the first year of receiving benefits, and after full retirement age, benefits recalculated for months not received due to high earnings.

Reduction in Monthly Benefits:

  • Social Security Administration’s table illustrates substantial reductions in monthly benefits for those retiring at age 62.
  • Reduction in benefits is a crucial consideration for individuals contemplating early retirement.


Despite the common belief that delaying Social Security leads to higher payouts, compelling reasons exist for taking early benefits. Immediate cash needs, financial emergencies, debt relief, early retirement, spousal benefit maximization, health concerns, and pursuing new life phases are factors. Essential support for shorter life expectancies, high-interest debt, or inability to work is provided by early benefits. Confident investors may strategically opt for early benefits and investments. Individual assessment and financial advisor consultation are crucial for informed decisions aligned with specific goals. Early claiming can make retirement feasible, offering relief. Thorough evaluation is vital for a decision considering personal circumstances and long-term financial impact.

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