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When to Apply for Social Security Benefits

Applying at 62 will cut your benefit 30% over waiting until full retirement age

Ask Rusty – We Want to Claim SS at 62. When Should we Apply?

Dear Rusty: My wife and I are going to be taking Social Security at 62. She will be 62 on April 15, 2025. I will be 62 August 7, 2025. When should we apply for Social Security? Signed: Ready to file

Dear Ready: Social Security recommends you apply for benefits about 2 – 3 months prior to when you want your benefits to start (to get them time to process your application). You will specify on your application when you wish your benefit to start, so applying early isn't a problem. Just a few things to keep in mind:

· Your first month of eligibility will be the first month you are 62 for the entire month. In your wife's case, her first month of eligibility will be May 2025, and in your case your first month of eligibility will be September 2025. Your wife's benefits will be paid on the 3rd Wednesday of every month, and your benefits will be received on the 2nd Wednesday of every month (payment dates depend on when your birthday falls).

· Social Security has an earnings test for those collecting early benefits (before your full retirement age). If you are working and exceed the earnings limit, SS will take away some of your benefits. The earning limit for 2024 is $22,320 and, if that is exceeded, SS will take away $1 in benefit for every $2 you are over the limit (the limit changes annually, so the 2025 limit will be more). Thus, if you plan to work after collecting, you must stay aware of the earning test. If you earn substantially more than the earnings limit, you even may be temporarily ineligible to collect benefits (until you either earn less or reach your full retirement age (FRA) when the earning test no longer applies).

· By claiming at 62, you will incur a cut in benefits of about 30% from the amount you would get by waiting until your FRA to claim. And, except for annual cost of living adjustments, that is a permanent reduction. FYI, your benefit will continue to grow if you wait longer to claim.

Deciding when to claim Social Security should take into account your financial needs, your life expectancy, and your goals as a couple. Claiming at 62 is the right choice for many, but waiting longer, if feasible, will result in a higher monthly amount, which could be beneficial if your life expectancy is long. Of course, we are here for you if you have any additional questions, so please don't hesitate to contact us again if needed.

This article is intended for information purposes only and does not represent legal or financial guidance. It presents the opinions and interpretations of the AMAC Foundation's staff, trained and accredited by the National Social Security Association (NSSA). NSSA and the AMAC Foundation and its staff are not affiliated with or endorsed by the Social Security Administration or any other governmental entity. To submit a question, visit our website ( or email us at


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