3 Social Security Moves to Make Before the End of the Year

If you’ll be at least 62 years old in 2023, you’ll have the option to sign up for Social Security. But even if you’re not planning to file for benefits next year, it still pays to tackle these important Social Security tasks in the coming month.

1. Figure out your full retirement age

Many people end up with a lower monthly benefit than they were initially eligible for from Social Security because they sign up ahead of full retirement age (FRA). In some cases, that’s intentional.

But a lot of people don’t know their FRA and end up shrinking their monthly benefit accidentally. That’s problematic.

Image source: Getty Images.

Your FRA hinges on the year in which you were born. You can use this table to see what yours looks like:

Year of Birth

Full Retirement Age




66 and 2 months


66 and 4 months


66 and 6 months


66 and 8 months


66 and 10 months

1960 or any year after


Data source: Social Security Administration. Chart by author.

Keep in mind that you don’t necessarily have to claim Social Security at your exact FRA. In some cases, filing ahead of FRA does make sense. And you can also opt to delay your filing past FRA.

For each year you do, up until age 70, your monthly benefit will get an 8% boost. But it’s important to know your FRA so you can come up with a plan to claim Social Security strategically.

2. Review your earnings statement

Each year, the Social Security Administration (SSA) issues workers an earnings statement that summarizes their wages. It’s important to give your earnings statement a close read because if your wages are underreported, it could result in a lower monthly benefit from Social Security down the line.

If you’re 60 or older, your earnings statement should arrive in the mail. If you’re younger, you’ll need to create an account on the SSA’s website to access it there.

Not only will your earnings statement summarize your wages for the year, but it will also include an estimate of your future monthly Social Security benefit. And that’s an important number to know.

Of course, the closer to retirement you are, the more accurate that estimate will be. But even if you’re younger and know that your estimate is subject to change, based on future earnings, it’s still nice to have a baseline.

3. Start thinking about a filing age

If you’re in your 20s, 30s or 40s, this is a move you can probably skip for now. But if you’re within a decade of retirement, it’s actually a good time to start thinking about a Social Security filing age, as that decision will dictate how much monthly income the program will provide you with.

If you’re married, this is a conversation you’ll want to have with your spouse. That way, you can coordinate and come up with some options that work well for both of you.

At this stage of the year, you may be more focused on holiday shopping than personal finance matters. But it pays to take the time to address these Social Security tasks before 2022 draws to a close. This especially holds true if you’re thinking you might end up claiming benefits in 2023 or shortly thereafter.

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