Ask Larry

Can My Friend Start Drawing His Benefits Three Months Prior To Age 70 And Still Get His Full Age 70 Benefit Amount?

A friend of mine has just retired at age 69. He will turn 70 this coming March 14, 2023. He plans to start taking social security benefits at age 70 to get the maximum benefit. He has been told that he can start taking the benefits this January, three months before his 70th birthday and get the full age 70 benefit amount. Says he has friends that have done it. Is he correct?

Hi. No. If your friend starts drawing his benefits 3 months prior to the month he reaches age 70, his monthly benefit rate will be roughly 2% lower than his age 70 rate. Delayed retirement credits (DRC) add 2/3rds of 1% to a person's benefit rate for each month that they defer collecting their Social Security retirement benefits between full retirement age (FRA) and age 70. So, starting benefits 3 months prior to age 70 would mean losing 2% worth of DRCs (i.e. 3 months x 2/3rds of 1% per month).

Best, Jerry

Nov 16 2022 - 4:30pm
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