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Surprise if you turn 62 in 2020 and want to collect Social Security now. You may be disappointed.

January 17, 2020

If you were born in 1958 you'll be turning 62 in 2020.  For many, reaching age 62 is exciting because it's the first age you can begin collecting Social Security retirement income benefits.  That's the good news, you're now eligible for benefits.  The bad news is that if you start collecting this year (or any year prior to your Full Retirement Age - FRA) your benefit will be less than what you could have received at your FRA (66 and 8 months for those born in 1958).

You've probably heard about the reduction for claiming benefits prior to FRA and may be under the impression the reduction is 25%, meaning if you file for retirement benefits at 62 you'll get 75% of the amount you could have received at 66.  Not an outlandish assumption since many of your friends and family who collected Social Security at age 62 did get 75% of their number - if their FRA was 66.  But wait, if you were born in 1958 your FRA is 66 and 8 months; so, would you still get 75% at age 62?  Surprise! No, you won't get 75% of your number, you'll only get 71.7% of your FRA number (also known as the your Primary Insurance Amount).

The reason for this is relatively simple (relative to the fact nothing is simple with Social Security).  For every month you claim benefits prior to your FRA, the Administration will reduce your benefit.  If your FRA was 66 there were exactly 4 years between age 66 and 62, which equated to a 25% reduction.  If you were born in 1958 your FRA is 66 and 8 months, so there are 8 more months of reductions than for those whose FRA was just 66, and that total reduction equates to a 28.3% discount is you claim at 62.

Similar math is applicable to everyone born in 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, and so on.

Find out more fun facts about claiming percentages at