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What’s the retirement age?

Andrew Goldman

Andrew Goldman has been writing for over 20 years and investing for the past 10 years. He currently writes about personal finance and investing for Wealthsimple. Andrew's past work has been published in The New York Times Magazine, Bloomberg Businessweek, New York Magazine and Wired. Television appearances include NBC's Today show as well as Fox News. Andrew holds a Bachelor of Arts (English) from the University of Texas. He and his wife Robin live in Westport, Connecticut with their two boys and a Bedlington terrier. In his spare time, he hosts “The Originals" podcast.

This is a bit of a trick question, since there is no official retirement age here in the US. There are, however, some very significant dates that will likely influence when you decide to join the early bird shuffle board club. At 55, you’ll be able to access your 401(k) savings with no penalty. Then, at 59 1/2, the same will go for any IRAs you have, be it traditional, Roth, or SEPs. Sixty-two is the earliest age you can start receiving Social Security benefits, but we advise you to hold out until you’re 67, when the government will deem you to be the minimum age for full retirement. (But those who hope to fully exploit Social Security may want to hold out until 70, when you’ll be eligible to receive the maximum monthly benefits.)

If you wanted to take your when-to-call-it-quits cues from the government, you might hold on until you’re 70 1/2, the date after which you’ll be required to begin taking RMDs, or required minimum distributions, from your IRAs.

Last Updated December 8, 2017

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