Full retirement age (FRA) for Social Security is the age you can receive Social Security benefits without reduction. That age used to be 65 for everyone. In 1983, it was changed to 67. Social Security has been gradually phasing in the increase between 1983 and now. People born in 1956 reach age 62 in 2018. Their full retirement age is 66 and four months.
Knowing your full retirement age is part of planning for retirement. You need to consider your options. Should I retire early at 62 with a reduced benefit or wait until I reach my FRA and won’t have any reduction or wait longer until age 70 and get an increased benefit due to deferring the benefit?
If you need to find your own FRA, visit this link www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/agereduction.html.
As a general rule, early or late retirement will give you about the same total Social Security benefits over your lifetime. If you retire early, the monthly benefit amounts will be smaller to take into account the longer period you will receive them. If you retire late, you will get benefits for a shorter period of time but the monthly amounts will be larger to make up for the months when you did not receive anything.
Or your personal situation may warrant taking benefits at some time other than 62, FRA or age 70. If you want to take benefits early between 62 and FRA, the benefit will be reduced. To find the percentage of reduction for every month between age 62 and FRA, visit this link: www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/ageincrease.html. Choose your age from the drop down box. After telling you what your FRA is, you will see a chart with the reductions for early benefits. (Use your Social Security Statement available through your my Social Security account www.ssa.gov/myaccount/ to get your FRA amount.)
After determining an estimate for Social Security benefits, you can determine what other sources of retirement you have. Then you will want to consider some other things like longevity, work in retirement, health, health insurance, eligibility for Medicare, your potential eligibility on someone else’s Social Security record and what family members would get benefits on your record. Visit our tutorial www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/otherthings.html for more information.