Many people retire during the latter part of their 60s for a few reasons. First, for workers born in 1960 or later, full retirement age (FRA) for Social Security purposes doesn’t kick in until age 67. And FRA is when seniors are allowed to collect their benefits in full, without a reduction.
But for some people, retiring early is a big goal. And you may decide that you’d rather leave the workforce in your early 60s instead of waiting another five years or so. That way, you’ll have an opportunity to enjoy retirement while you’re younger and potentially healthier.
In fact, age 62 is a pretty common retirement age because it’s when seniors are first allowed to sign up for Social Security, albeit at a reduced rate compared to FRA. But if you claim benefits at 62 and lock in a lower monthly benefit for life, you could end up struggling financially throughout your retirement.
As such, it pays to look into ways to retire at age 62 without claiming Social Security right away. Here are some options that could make that possible.
1. Tap your savings
If you’re entering retirement with a healthy nest egg, then it may be more than possible to live on the withdrawals you take from your IRA or 401(k) plan. Of course, you’ll need to be careful not to withdraw from your savings too aggressively, because you don’t want to deplete your nest egg prematurely. But if you have enough money socked away, it may be feasible to take larger withdrawals for a bunch of years so as to not have to claim Social Security right away, and then scale back your withdrawal rate once FRA arrives and you can snag your monthly benefit in full.
2. Use your home as an income source
If you have a lot of equity in your home, it may be fairly easy to borrow against it. And so you may decide to take out a home equity loan to help pay your living expenses for a few years in the absence of collecting Social Security.
Of course, this strategy only works if you’re able to borrow at a low enough rate. But if that’s possible, then a loan, combined with your savings, could make it possible to wait on Social Security.
Another option worth considering is renting out a portion of your home for a few years and using your rental income to pay bills. This works especially well if you have a separate area of your home, like a finished basement, that allows for plenty of privacy.
3. Hold down a part-time job
You may not want to plug away at a full-time job come age 62. But if you’re willing to work on a part-time basis, that might make it possible to hold off on claiming Social Security and let your benefits grow.
These days, there are many ways to earn money in a less traditional sense. You could sell crafts online, become a private chef, or provide pet care out of your home. It’s worth seeing which options allow you to earn a steady income while maintaining the lifestyle you’re hoping for.
Retiring in your early 60s may be a goal of yours, and it’s possible to do so without filing for Social Security right away. Remember, Social Security will pay you a benefit for the rest of your life, and reducing that benefit substantially with an early claim is a move that could come back to haunt you later on. And so it pays to look at the ways you can pull off an early retirement, all the while avoiding a hit to the benefits you might really come to rely on.
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