For many U.S. Citizens, the Social Security System is a mystery. Social Security covers an estimated 96% of Americans. We don’t really think about our benefits until we are quickly approaching retirement. At this point you will begin to wonder how much you’re due, and when you can begin to receive benefits. Some retirees don’t realize that by delaying the time when they receive their Social Security Benefits, they will be increasing their payments later. For people whose “full retirement age” is age 66, they can begin to receive benefits at age 62 and experience a 25% permanent reduction. As you can, see this is significant if you consider the amount of time you will expect to be retired with longer life expectancy. Striking the balance between your needs and the age you begin enrollment is critical for your long-term security since you can’t make any changes once you have begun.
Benefits are based on how long you have worked and how much you paid into the system over time. In order to collect retirement benefits, you must have accumulated at least 40 qualifying credits, which is equal to about 10 years of work. The earliest you can file for Social Security is age 61 and 9 months; however, the earliest you can receive benefits (at a reduced rate than your “full retirement age”) is age 62. Below is a table that will help you understand the “full retirement age” based on your birth year.
You have the right to know the full story. To begin researching more about your personal situation go to http://www.ssa.gov/myaccount/ and create an account which will help you track your progress as you approach retirement to help shed light on some of the details you may be seeking.
At Norris Financial Group®, LLC we assist many of our clients with retirement planning which incorporates Social Security benefits. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to set an appointment, and see how we can help plan your path to a more secure retirement.
By Mary Kathryn Allen, CDFA™