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When Can I Retire If I Was Born in 1960?

The earliest you can begin Social Security is 2022 — but for most, it pays to hold off claiming as long as possible.
Sept. 4, 2019
Investing, Retirement Planning
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If you were born in 1960 or later, your full retirement age is 67 for Social Security.

For most people born in 1960, the retirement window starts in 2022, when they can begin taking Social Security benefits early, or as late as 2030, when benefits hit their peak. Of course, if your finances permit, you can retire at any time you wish, but Social Security is a key component of most retirees’ planning.

Some key things to know if you’re asking yourself when you can retire if you were born in 1960:

  • You can start Social Security at 62, but your benefit will be permanently reduced (at 70% of full benefit) to reflect the early start. Also, if you keep working your benefit checks will be reduced by $1 for every $2 you earn over a certain amount, which in 2019 is $17,640.
  • At 67, you will get 100% of your retirement benefit. The earnings test goes away, so you can earn as much as you want without reducing your check.
  • If you wait to start until after 67, your benefit will increase by 8% each year until maxing out at age 70.

Social Security for those born in 1960

Starting age% of full benefit Monthly benefit*Annual benefit *
* Based on $2,000 monthly benefit
6270%$1,400$16,800
6586.7%$1,734$20,808
67100%$2,000$24,000
70124%$2,480$29,760

Delaying is a good idea for most people

Researchers have found that most people will benefit from delaying Social Security at least until full retirement age.

Researchers have found that most people will benefit from delaying Social Security at least until full retirement age. You probably will live beyond the “break even” age where the larger checks more than make up for the years of smaller checks you pass up.

If you’re the higher earner in a married couple, it’s even more important that you try to delay as long as possible. Your check will determine the survivor benefit that one of you will live on when the other one dies.

Retiring and claiming Social Security can be separate decisions

Most people quit work and start Social Security around the same time, but that’s not required. You can continue to work, either full time or part time, after starting Social Security. Or you can stop working and put off claiming, perhaps tapping your 401(k) or other retirement savings in the meantime. You can (and should) sign up for Medicare at 65, but you don’t have to be receiving Social Security to do so.

How much will you really need to retire?

Answering the question “When can I retire?” involves more than just Social Security, since those checks alone typically won’t provide enough for a comfortable retirement.

On average, Social Security replaces about 40% of late-career earnings for most workers. If you’re a high earner, chances are the Social Security will replace even less of your income. So you probably will need to supplement Social Security with money from retirement accounts and other savings if you want to have more than a bare-bones retirement.

To find out how much you’ll really need to retire, you can use our retirement calculator.

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