There’s a reason 62 is the most popular age for eligible recipients to file for Social Security: It’s the earliest possible age to collect benefits. But if you’re willing to exercise patience and delay those payments, you could end up with a lot more money on your hands. Your Social Security benefits themselves are based on your 35 highest years of earnings. If you wait until your full retirement age — which will either be 66, 67, or 66 and a number of months — to file, you’ll collect your monthly benefit payments in full. But if you file prior to full retirement age, you’ll reduce your benefits by a certain percentage for each year you file early. There’s also a flip side. If you hold off on filing for benefits past full retirement age, you’ll snag an 8% increase in payments each year up until you turn 70. And it’s this very fact that should serve as motivation to wait, especially if any of the following scenarios apply to you.
1. You have little to no savings
2. Your health is fantastic
3. You have a spouse to think about