Are Social Security benefits affected if you retire before 60?


Quick Answer

Social Security benefits are based on a person's highest 35 wage-earning years, so retirement at age 60 can impact benefits if that person leaves a well-paying job, notes AARP. People who make less than they did in their top 35 years won't lose benefits if they retire early.

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Full Answer

Everyone is eligible to collect Social Security benefits starting at age 62, although the age when someone can collect full benefits ranges from 65 to 67, depending on his birth date. Someone who collects benefits before his full retirement age experiences a permanent reduction in payments, according to the Social Security Administration.

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