When Is the Right Time to Apply for Social Security?


Quick Answer

Individuals who have worked for at least 10 years can start applying for Social Security benefits at the age of 62 or wait and complete the application by age 70. The right time to apply depends on personal financial circumstances.

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When Is the Right Time to Apply for Social Security?
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Full Answer

Waiting until the age of 70 has the benefit of increasing the applicant's overall payment amount; the amount increases by 8 percent for every year the person waits past the "full retirement age," and is decreased if the person chooses to start earlier than that age. The full retirement age depends on the applicant's year of birth, but is somewhere between 65 and 67 years old. Social Security benefits are not connected to Medicare; therefore, a senior can sign up for Medicare at 65 years old regardless of whether the individual is receiving SS benefits.

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