If you're thinking about retirement, here's a key question: What is the best age to leave the workforce in order to maximize your Social Security benefits? You'll hear many opinions about what age is the best to retire. If you choose early retirement at age 62, you'll get a monthly benefit which is 25% less than you would get at full retirement age, 67 for most people today. If you wait until age 70, you'll get 132% of your full retirement age benefit. But on the other hand, you'll have fewer years to collect those benefits, which are an important part of the retirement income of many people.
A lot of people today are choosing 62 to retire because they are still able to enjoy an active lifestyle at that age. But it can be a big mistake to choose early retirement based on how long people in your family have tended to live.
The writer of this article chose early retirement because his father died at age 39, his mother at 65, his older brother at 67, and two uncles in their 40s. He calculated that he would have to live to 76 ½ in order to get the same amount that he would get at his full retirement age, 65. He's now 84 and getting much less money.