Social Security Retirement
To be eligible for benefits on your own work record, you need to have worked for 40 quarters of a year (10 years total). The quarters don’t have to be consecutive, but they must be in the “covered” employment (jobs where the payroll taxes of the Social Security Administration or FICA contributions are deducted). Once you qualify for benefits, so could your current spouse, ex-spouse, young children, disabled children, and even parents. You may also be able to collect benefits for parents, if you have been financially supported by a child and he/she dies.
If you do not know, you can and should get your Social Security statement. You will need your SSN, valid email address, email address, and be at least 18 years old. You will need to enter personal information that you only know, so when you access the online account, SSA can ask you security questions. Once configured, you can download or print the “Your Social Security statement”. Year-by-year account the record of wage earnings in which you (and your employers) have paid the Social security “SS”.
Before applying for retirement benefits, there are certain social security “fundamentals” that you should know about:
- Your “Full retirement age” (FRA) – depending on your date of birth, which may be between age 66 and 67. This could affect the amount of your benefits and when you want the benefits to start.
- When you can start benefits– you can start receiving benefits as early as age 62 or as late as age 70. There are some incentives to take your retirement later, but this depends on your circumstances.
- Benefits are reduced by age– your monthly benefits will be reduced for each month you decide to take early retirement benefits, if you start them at any time before “FRA.” For example, taking your retirement benefits at the age of 62 instead of FRA carries a 25% lower monthly payment than if you wait.
- Working while you receive benefits– if you decide to receive benefits before you reach your total retirement age, you should understand how to continue working can affect your benefits.
- Delayed Retirement Credits– delayed retirement credits can be added to your benefits if they start after your full retirement age.
- Life expectancy–if you live with average life expectancy for someone your age, you will receive approximately the same amount in lifetime benefits if you decide to start receiving benefits at the age of 62, FRA, age 70 or any age in the middle. However, many of us will live much longer than the “average” retired, and most women live longer than men. More than one in 3 65 years old will live to 90 years, and more than one in seven lives until 95 years. Social Security benefits, which last as long as you live, provide valuable protection against surviving savings and other sources of retirement income. Once again, you will want to choose a retirement age based on your circumstances so that you have enough income when you need it.
As you can see, Social Security retirement benefits can be complicated, but resources and information are publicly available and with the right guidance you can make the best decision for yourself. If you or someone you know has more questions about Social Retirement Insurance, please note that AyudaCon.com is also available for assistance. Contact us for more information.