Ask Terry Questions Retirement and early Social Security

Retirement and early Social Security

By Terry Savage on November 14, 2023 | Financial Planning / Retirement

Friend out of work for 5 years. Worked for decades in landscaping and concrete. Cancer and other health issues made job too difficult. Just turned 62. Has more than 40 credits. Should person choose early retirement? Heard would lose ss dollars after 5 years of not working.
Should person take any job for a year or 2 just to get more ss benefits and then take retirement?

Terry Says

This is a question complicated by emotions as well as numbers. Please read this excellent article on the AARP website, explaining the issues around claiming SS early.

On the financial side, there is no doubt she would be better off by continuing to work and waiting until her full retirement age to collect, since her early retirement will cost her roughly one-quarter of what she would get each month. As discussed in the article, her SS will be based on her highest 35 years of earnings, as long as she has that many years. If fewer, there will be years with a “zero” added to the mix.

If you want specific answers, direct her to where for $39 she can get the actual numbers of what she should receive based on her existing earnings — whether she takes it early or decides to wait.

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