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Chapter 11. Social Security > Early or Late Retirement

Early or Late Retirement

It almost sounds like an old quiz show. Do you want the money now or do you want to come back next week and try for the car? Is it better to take less money starting sooner or more money starting later?

If for whatever reasons, be they financial reasons, health reasons or any other reasons, you have to retire from work at age sixty-two, you will probably want to start collecting your Social Security retirement benefits at sixty-two unless you have saved a lot of money. Be aware, though, that if you were born after October 1938 and you do take early retirement in 2003, your benefits will be reduced by one dollar for every two dollars over $11,520 you might earn from future employment annually. If you do not need the money for early retirement, you probably will be better off waiting until your full retirement age to claim your Social Security benefits. And if you do not need the money at that time, you still may be better off taking the checks and investing the money yourself rather than deferring retirement to age seventy.


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