This is killing me! I retired at 57 years old and receive a government pension. My last 35 years of wages are done! I do not expect to work ever again. Should I collect at 62 or 67? Under my circumstances, will it make a difference?
Thanks for an informed opinion. I appreciate and respect your advice. Thank you!
Sorry this answer to you is out of queue - this website has some issues.
It means that your government job for those 35 years was covered by the Social Security system for the whole time because you and your employer (the government entity) withheld and matched respectively payroll taxes for Social Security.
If they had not been - your whatever benefit would have been reduced - how much reduction would have depended on how long you paid these Social Security withholding taxes and your employer (government) matched them.
But since you were covered by the SS system - you have no worries there.
As to when to take your retirement - early (at 62) or later(67 - maybe that is your Full Retirement age). You need to know what it is at both those ages - to make an informed (guess).
As you make plans for your retirement, you may ask, “How much will I get from Social Security?” If you have a mySocial Securityaccount, you can use our Retirement Calculatorat www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount to get an estimate of your personal retirement benefits, and to see the effects of different retirement age scenarios. If you don’t have a mySocial Security account, you can create one at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount or you can use our online Retirement Estimator at www.socialsecurity.gov/estimator.
Read this whole pamphlet because it will describe the increase in your benefit if you haven't worked in several years and delay your benefit until after age 62 -
from the link ~
You’re eligible for cost-of-living benefit increases starting with the year you become age 62. This is true even if you don’t get benefits until your full retirement age or even age 70. We add cost-of-living increases to your benefit beginning with the year you reach 62. Benefits are adjusted yearly to reflect the increase, if any, in the cost-of-living as measured by the Consumer Price Index.
It will also describe the reduction you will get if you decide to get if you file for retirement benefits early at age 62 or any place between age 62 and your FRA (Full Retirement Age)
In the case of early retirement, a benefit is reduced 5/9 of one percent for each month before normal retirement age, up to 36 months. If the number of months exceeds 36, then the benefit is further reduced 5/12 of one percent per month.
For example, if the number of reduction months is 60 (the maximum number for retirement at 62 when normal retirement age is 67), then the benefit is reduced by 30 percent. This maximum reduction is calculated as 36 months times 5/9 of 1 percent plus 24 months times 5/12 of 1 percent.
Everybody's circumstances are different but if you don't care about the early retirement deduction amount - then since you have already actually retired - my guesstimate would be to go ahead and officially retire under the system at 62 - your benefit will still get a bit bigger in those years when there is a Cost of Living Adjustment - but COLA are not a great deal anymore.
One other thing you may want to consider is the Medicare Part B premiums that will come out of your Social Security Benefit when you turn age 65 - for most people right now for 2021 that is a little less than $ 150.00 per month. If you are a higher income senior (over $85,000 a year in AGI - it is more). Since you are an ex-government employee with a pension, I doubt you are considered a low income senior for whom some subsidies are available to pay this Medicare Part B premium.
If you take it at 62 (or 63, 64, etc) and you die when you're 66 years and 11 months old, you'd still have more money, in hand, than if you had waited until 67, because you didn't make it that far. But you really need to decide such things for yourself I'd say. None of us live forever and hopefully none of us will die tomorrow. But with each day that passes, we are one closer to our final day to decide anything at all. I took mine beginning at 64. Not because I needed to but because I wanted to. It made sense to me and so far, no regrets. I'm 65 now.
It's nice to be important but it's more important to be nice.