3 Great Reasons to Take Social Security Benefits at 62

If there were one universal age at which seniors could file for Social Security, it would perhaps make the decision to claim benefits less stressful. But for better or worse, recipients get an eight-year window to file for benefits that kicks off at age 62 and runs all the way until 70. (Technically, it's possible to sign up for Social Security at an age later than 70, but you'll only lose out on benefits by doing so.)

Since 62 is the earliest age to take benefits, it happens to be the most popular age for filing. But doing so comes with one major drawback: reducing your benefits for life.

Any time you file for Social Security before reaching full retirement age (FRA), you'll take a hit on your monthly benefits. The extent of that hit will depend on your FRA and how early you file, but if you're looking at an FRA of 67, which is the case for anyone born in 1960 or later, and you start collecting benefits at 62, you'll slash your monthly payments by about 30%. And unless you undo your application and pay back that money within a year, you'll be stuck with those lower payments for life.

It's for this reason that many folks are advised not to file for Social Security as early as possible. But here are a few good reasons to take benefits as soon as you're able.

1. You don't need the money

It might seem counterintuitive to file for Social Security at 62 when you have a fully loaded nest egg and aren't desperate for money. After all, if you don't need those benefits to pay the bills, why not leave them alone and avoid a reduction?

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