In your lifetime, there are different mistakes you can make that impact the amount of money you receive from Social Security. One such mistake is not checking your annual earnings statements for errors. If your income is ever underreported, it could leave you with a lower monthly benefit for life.
Another common mistake that people make is claiming Social Security ahead of full retirement age, or FRA. FRA is when you’re entitled to receive your full monthly Social Security benefit based on your lifetime earnings.
Some people file for benefits ahead of FRA because they don’t know what that age actually is (hint: it’s 67 for anyone born in 1960 or later). Other people claim benefits early because they’re eager to get their money and don’t want to wait.
Either way, signing up for Social Security early means potentially locking in a lower benefit for life. On the other hand, the hit your benefit takes could be substantial.