When Is The Ideal Age To Retire?

Michael Jamison, Portfolio Manager

June 29, 2021


Many of us dream of retiring so we can pursue life-long passions, travel, volunteer or simply spend more time with family and friends. What many people don’ t know is that the age at which you decide to activate your social security could make a big difference in the total benefits you’ll receive.


So how does your age of retirement impact your benefits? You will receive your standard benefit if you take Social Security at your Full Retirement Age (FRA), Figure 1.

You are allowed to take Social Security as early as age 62 or as late as age 70. The earlier you take it the less your monthly take will be and vice versa. According to Diana Mtetwa of the Motley Fool, if your standard benefit at your FRA at age 66 is $2,500 then your reduced benefit at age 62 is $1,875 and your enhanced benefit at age 70 is $3,300. That means:

  • If you live to 75, taking it at 62 will get you a total of $292,500, taking it at 66 will get you $270,000 and taking it at 70 will get you $198,000.

  • If you live to 80, taking it at 62 will get you a total of $405,000, taking it at 66 will get you $420,000 and taking it at 70 will get you $396,000.

  • If you live to 85, taking it at 62 will get you a total of $517,500, taking it at 66 will get you $570,000 and taking it at 70 will get you $594,000.

So, what is the right age for you to retire? That all depends on your life expectancy, the amount you have saved and whether you will continue to work during retirement. Since none of us know exactly how long we will live, taking Social Security at your Full Retirement Age may make the most sense.

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