Among life’s big timing decisions are when to buy a home, when to start a family, and when to retire. All three have their complexities, but choosing a target retirement date can leave you feeling especially conflicted. An early retirement gives you more time to enjoy the work-free lifestyle. But it also comes with financial constraints — including a lower Social Security benefit. Even so, the trade-off might be worth it. Before you decide, read on to find out how early retirement changes your Social Security income, and what you can do to make up for it. Image source: Getty Images. The cost of claiming early You can claim Social Security as early as 62, but your benefit is reduced when you claim before reaching Full Retirement Age (FRA). FRA is assigned to you according to your birth year, and yours will be somewhere between the ages of 66 and 67. Your early-filing reduction will be calculated according to the number of months before your FRA that you start receiving benefits. Specifically, your benefit is lowered by five-ninths of 1% for each of the first 36 months prior to FRA. Beyond 36 months, the benefit is scaled back by five-twelfths… Read full this story
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