The Best Age for YOU to Retire

A smiling older man outside holding binoculars You may be trying to figure out what the most beneficial age is to say goodbye to your colleagues at the office. This is one of the most important and challenging decisions you’ll make in your life. When you decide to retire affects not only you, but it could have serious, long-lasting consequences for your family members, too. The answer is not the same for everybody, and I’m going to share some information that can help you make an informed decision based on your own personal situation.

If you delay receiving your Social Security until age 70, the monthly amount is 32 percent more than you would get at full retirement age.

From a Social Security standpoint, you can start getting lower benefits as early as age 62, or you can delay retirement up to age 70 for your maximum monthly benefit amount.

For example: Let’s say your full retirement age for Social Security benefits is 66, and your monthly benefit at that age is $1,000. Here’s what your monthly benefit would be, starting at different ages:

* Age 62 = $750
* Age 63 = $800
* Age 64 = $866
* Age 65 = $933
* Age 66 = $1,000
* Age 67 = $1,080
* Age 68 = $1,160
* Age 69 = $1,240
* Age 70 = $1,320

At age 62, your benefit amount is about 25 percent lower than your full benefit at age 66. If you delay receiving your Social Security until age 70, the monthly amount is 32 percent more than you would get at full retirement age. From 62 to 70, that comes to a monthly increase of $570 or $6,840 a year.

When to retire is a personal decision that you should base on factors such as your current cash needs, your health, and family longevity, whether you have other retirement income sources, and of course, your anticipated future financial needs and obligations. Remember, the average retirement will last for about 20 years, and Social Security benefits are typically adjusted annually for inflation to help maintain your standard of living. For more information, visit www.socialsecurity.gov.

241 thoughts on “The Best Age for YOU to Retire

  1. i retired at age 66 but continued to work and pay social security. Will my retirement continue to increase because of the additional payments?

    • I don’t think so. Your benefit is based on when you start collecting and then you will get any cost of living adjustments. I think you are subject to income tax on the Social Security and your regular income.

      • Can you please tell the politicians in Washington DC to keep their hands off Social Security! My employers and I were the ones that contributed to that fund NOT the government! If I took the amount I actually put into SS.. I would be way better off than the measly monthly stipend I currently get!

        • No you wouldnt the yearly maximum ee and er contribution is a little over $14400

          MOST persons do not contribute the Maximum but even if they did they would not save or invest that amount if it was not being deducted; and since most ss recipients receive at at least $1000 to $1200 /month you can easily determine the fallacy of your statement wjen applied to the general ss recipient

          • Why can’t I get what I put in? After all I worked for it and it is my money so why is the government telling me how much a month I can get?

    • Yes your benefit increases. I also started collecting at age 66 (Aug) and continued working. Thereafter, I received a letter in Oct stating what my new benefit would be.

    • Great question, Clyde. Each year we review the records for all Social Security recipients who work and will refigure your benefit, if applicable. Your work activity or wages can affect your Social Security benefits until the month that you attain full retirement age. To learn how your wages affect your benefits prior to when you attain your full retirement age go to http://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/whileworking.html. You can also learn more about how work affects your benefits at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/EN-05-10069.pdf.

        • Thank you for your question, Mary. The amount of benefits you receive is established at the time you applied for Retirement Benefits. It is based on the amount of your average lifetime earnings and your age at the time you applied. Generally, we use the highest years of earnings to calculate your monthly benefit amount. Remember that the earliest age you can apply for retirement benefits is 62. However, if you start benefits early, your benefits are reduced a fraction of a percent for each month before your full retirement age.
          When you are ready, you can complete the online application in as little as 15 minutes. Also, you can create a My Social Security account to review your earnings record and get an estimate of your future benefits. If you have specific questions, you can call our toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) for assistance. Representatives are available between 7a.m. and 7p.m., Monday through Friday. Generally, you’ll have a shorter wait time if you call later in the week.

          • Everyone should start taking their Social Security at age 62. If you wait you may never receive all the money you deferred. There is a limit to how long you will live. Most people don’t want to admit that and many die before getting a dime. Take it while you can.

          • The decision on when to apply for benefits is a personal one. We can only provide you with the information to help you make the best choice according to your own situation. The Social Security Retirement Planner provides detailed information about Social Security retirement benefits under current law. Individuals can create a “My Social Security” account to review their earnings record and get an estimate of their future benefits. Thanks!

          • If you have longevity in your family and not a lot of savings, waiting until 70 is often a better choice. My family’s life expectancy is 94. It’s a long time from 62 to 94 with a loss of $500 plus per month in spending power.
            With our country’s current national debt dilemma, cost of living increases could disappear.
            The more I’m eligible for, the more I’ll have left when the Congress gets done.

          • Hey Ray, question was if I retire but do not take SS. Will my monthly check be reduced when I do decide to take it?

      • Saying “Your work activity or wages can affect your Social Security benefits *until the month that you attain full retirement age*” is very very misleading. Even after full retirement age, working can still increase your monthly social security retirement benefit.

      • Hi,

        I am trying to decide if I could retire at the age of 64. I went to my page on my SS account page where the estimated benefit of 1229.00 is quoted if retiring at the age of 63.

        However, when I did the quick calculator it reduced the above amount. I am confused.

        K

    • If you take your retirement benefits while still working and paying FICA taxes, SSA will adjust your SS benefit upward according to how much you worked. Paying into the FICA increases your benefit even when you take your SS retirement.

    • Yes you do get more money if you work while retired. Your still,paying in SSI. I got an increase in my benefits for working p/t.

      • Thank you for your comment Maryrobyn. Generally, if you continue to work while receiving retirement (or survivors) benefits, your monthly benefit amount could increase. Each year, we review the records for all working Social Security recipients to see if additional earnings may increase monthly benefits.

    • If you Google “catch 62” you will find many helpful articles. Federal workers with military service are potentially affected by this. If it is not already too late, you should look into buying back your military service, which is usually a good deal.

  2. What you fail to mention is that the loss of delaying SS is greater than the gain of waiting if you don’t live long enough. For me, according to my latest social security statement. I lose $115k in payments if I delay from 62 to 67. If I delay to 70, I lose $184k. In order to make that back and get to breakeven, I would need to live until 90. Yes, 90! Since my average life expectancy is about 85 and my family medical history is sketchy, I doubt I will live to 90. But even if I do and reach breakeven, how much longer will I live beyond that? It’s not worth waiting people. Do the math and you will see. You must subtract out the years of payments you lose when you delay.

    • Yes, you do have to factor in how much you lose if you delay benefits. My sister died at age 64. She would have been able to draw full benefits at age 65. Never got anything!

    • But you should also consider, if you are a higher earner spouse, that the lesser earner will receive your higher ss amount if you delay and pre-decease her/him.

      • David is exactly right. The higher earner’s benefit becomes the total SS income for couple when he dies. To maximize that income for the survivor the higher earner should consider waiting until age 70. Even if he dies at age 71 the benefit increase for the spouse may exceed the loss of age 62 to age 70 income the higher earner could have taken by filing early.

    • To KS :

      You are “On The MONEY”.

      I filed to begin at age 65 & 3mo & came to the same colclusion. Now, at age 76 I’ve found my Conclusion to be Accurate..

    • You are correct…. I took my SS at 66 yrs which was my full benefit age.
      My SS check is approx. $2100 / month. If I had waited until age 70, I would have given up $100,800 in payments. the additional amount for waiting until age 70 would have been approx. $630/month. It would have taken me about 13.33 years to make up that loss and I would have been nearly 84 years old. Plus, I could still collect SS at 66 and work w/o a maximum or penalty and my SS would be adjusted for every year that I made more than the lowest year in the 35 years used to calculate my SS amount. SS uses your highest 35 years of wages to calculate you retirement amount. Once you reach your maximum benefit retirement year, mine was 66, there is no maximum earning amount or penalty involved.

      • Except you didn’t allow for inflation over the years. The extra adjustment over that 13 years including the $630 would have shaved off another 2+ years, so if you think you’ll live to at least 81, you’d be better off delaying taking until age 70.

      • Yes, I just did the math. At 84 or so is when the delay til 70 starts becoming more profitable. However, if you are still working at 66, you can invest more and pay more off your mortgage for the 4 years until you reach 70.

    • KS, I suggest you check your math. Schwab has a table that says if you collect at 66 v 62, your breakeven age is 77-78; if you collect at 70 v. 62, breakeven is 80-81 years old; if you collect at 70 v. 66, breakeven is 83-84 years old. That agrees with everything I’ve read over the years.

      • Ed- My Math is for my specific benefits in my social security statement. The Schwab table doesn’t know anyones specific payouts. Only general payouts.

      • One cannot assume they will live to a certain age. That is the fallacy in every table or piece of advice that that suggests waiting. Waiting is a benefit only to the Government in the long run.

        • My parents are 90 and 91 and in good health. We just celebrated the 100th of my aunt. That’s a long time with a reduced benefit!

    • You are truly right about the difference. I took mine at 62 and am happy. but here is another thing they don’t want to talk about what happens to all the paid-in money to people who die before they receive any of “Their” money back that they paid in? should that not be in “THEIR Estate” after all they paid it in and it should be theirs. then I have/had a mom and Dad who died before they ever got on cent and I also have 3 children who died before the ever got one cent also. then we here all the time about SS going broke, had congress not stolen our money I would be getting over $3,000. a month in place of $900. We continually about ss going broke but never ever here about Welfare and food stamps or any of the Gimme free deals going broke. We paid and worked for our retirement and they never paid a dime and now we also here of the illegals getting everything for free and still pay no taxes.

      • One of the terrible aspects of the pending bankruptcy of the SS fund is that it is made worse by all of the decisions to include disability benefits to people at rates much higher than they have earned. ……Foreigners and those taking a ‘free ride’ are running the system we paid for broke!

      • Sorry to hear about your losses.I agree with you Robert. Where does the money go? I do believe the remainder monies should be paid put to the families since the money has been paid into their social security. Maybe it would be a great policy bill to start?

        • Folks sorry to say SS is not a guaranteed retirement account. It is a program just like food stamps or welfare. You meet the criteria, you get it – if not, you don’t. You are supporting the larger community each time they take out the payroll deduction tax.

          • Bull. When I pay over $300 a month towards social security and medicare, they most certainly are guaranteed, I expect to get a check sometime after age 62. While I have other retirement savings, I am still counting on social security as part of the equation. I don’t believe there are any deductions on my paystub for welfare or food stamps, they are meant to be temporary solutions if you “meet the criteria.” I also agree that illegals or people who do not pay in, should not take out, only exceptions being American Citizens who are mentally or physically disabled. I don’t mind some of my money supporting that part of the “larger community.”

      • Robert,
        I agree with you about the estate being paid the balance of what was paid into SS plus interest. Having said this you might remember Bush tried to introduce a concept that SS payments be put in an account for each individual that could not be touched until they reach the maximum retirement age. If the individual passes away the estate would be paid the amount in the account. This was to ensure that congress could not tap into these accounts ever again.Congress and individuals who are already retired & drawing SS screamed like a stuck pig. Congress put the fear of God in those individuals telling them that Bush would take away their SS benefits. This was far from the truth. But Congress needed SS to fund their pet projects. Look it up. Look at these responses , people are wandering why they are not receiving the money that the individual paid into? You had a chance to overhaul SS but failed to act. Will you get another chance. I doubt it.

      • It sounds like you’ve had a rough time. Social Security Insurance works like any other insurance. It’s sharing the risk. Many people insure their homes and never make a claim. But their money is not returned when they sell their home; it goes into a pool and is used to pay claims for those who experience a theft or whose home is burned down. Social Security is the same. Many people who come to the US illegally work and pay into Social Security but are never able to collect on it because of their undocumented status.

          • Let’s quit calling “illegal” undocumented. They shouldn’t be here and are takers of our system. The fact that they may has paid social security taxes on their illegal wages, too damn bad.

      • Thank you Robert you were spot-on. I think a lot of people in this country are fed up with politicians taking our money and giving it to those that are undeserving and of course lining their own pockets Pockets with benefits

      • Agreed Robert ………… I did the same thing you did … better use it now than continue to have it diluted to the point that I might not ever receive anything close to what I should be receiving.

    • I definitely recommend collecting earlier!! You don’t know how long you live. What the above math forgets is that if you collect at age 62 you HAVE $72,000 already collected when you turn 70! You have to live until more than 81 to start ‘making money”. Money is WAY more fun at 62 than 81!!

      • After visiting a few nursing homes and assisted living centers, I decided to retire early at 57 and I plan to select my Social Security at 62. I do not have money to go out to eat or splurge with but I am stress free and take life on my time. I am at peace and that is something I have worked hard for in factories my entire working life. Without the stress of daily fighting machines on my job, traffic on my drive to work, a zero tolerance attendance policy, and bully bosses, I feel I will live longer and happier life.

        • You are the best advice here!! Thank you for talking about our slave like existence caused by big buisiness….everyone seems to be afraid!!!

    • Do the math on this carefully, because there is a lot at stake. You also need to consider if you will have a higher tax rate if you take SS while you are still working. And most importantly, what will you do with the money? SSA gives you an 8% compounded return every year you delay. Can you really equal that return in this crummy stock market?

  3. I started by SS benefits at 66 and have continued to work. I get an adjustment provided the yearly income amount is larger the prior year. I am a State employee-the State has not given us a raise for almost 5 years now, my benefit amount has not increased other than COLA increases (if there is one…)

  4. I also heard that after you start receiving SS checks, your annual gross income from part time job (say, you get bored and tired of sitting at home) cannot be more than $14,000, which boils down to $1,166 per month. Is that still correct?

    What about your rental income?

    • Mary– If you are FULL RETIREMENT
      AGE, there is no income restriction–and if you are not FRA, you will have the income restriction but the minute you reach the FRA, the restriction goes away.

      • Ginger, thanks for putting facts correctly and clearly for Mary. It is important. Therefore Mary should have already read the same info for herself (We do have an obligation to read what our gov orgs distribute to keep us informed about what happened… what the org did that may cause adverse or positive impact upon us. For example Ginger, the same info you just repeated for Mary is also stated earlier in this blog by 2 different, informed people. Mary, like millions of other Americans who don’t do anything or much to HELP THEM SELVES such as read the facts about important issues and benefits (i.e., SS), that are well publicized, expensively distributed to us ALL and then reprinted and re-issued to us by so many other charity orgs, investment svcs, etc, etc. It’s not easy to be UNINFORMED about SS provisions, restrictions and related details… people like Mary must work at remaining ignorant. It’s annoying to constantly keep getting the same BASIC questions here, at political meetings, community info public gatherings, etc… there’s always no-nothings who will never bother to read any tiny print, or any government proclamation from SS… because they are too lazy, because the text looks lengthy… yet the “happily uninformed” are first to complain, regress to name-calling and resentment of people who they think are slackers. Can we try to help ourselves here, using this BLOG AS A TOOL, a hopeful access to someone of import at SS and maybe other fed orgs who CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE, help actually solve some of the less fair new SS changes… instead of wasting our time writing to each other about SS changes that we should ALL AT LEAST KNOW ABOUT and have a talking knowledge of. This blog is ACCESS, lets use it… lets not waste and squander it on little annoyances. If you read this far, thanks.

        • Peggy, Chill out…some folks aren’t quite as educated as you seem to be. And yes, there are still some adults that have a great deal of difficulty in their reading and writing.

        • Back off Peggy…you are the one regressing to name calling such as ignorant, lazy, and ‘no’ nothings. Like Lynn said, there are many older people that don’t have a lot of education or even know how to use the internet. I’m sure you scared a few off here with your rant.

        • My other was not given a choice! My dad died in 1962, I was 3, she got $25.00 a month for me & same for her. She worked from 1946 till 2014 (she had too & still would be except she broke her shoulder working 40 hrs. a week @ 8.19 hr, same job for over 20 years washing dishes) When she turned 62 in 1992, they made her take her benefit over her widows because it was the larger amt. (my dad was 70 when he died) So for her having worked over 65 years continuously was a must just to survive, she gets less than $900 a month! She paid an extra 20+ years intoall listed SS/ twice for Medicare, out of wages & out of her SS chk (now has to pay an extra $50.00 to keep her doc & plans are far & few between here/ Fed taxes. She’s worked almost long enough to receive 2 checks. She was not highly educated growing up in the 1930’s having to quit school to help support the family & always just worked to keep a roof over our head & food on the table, all the while be too trusting, thinking SS knows better than her. It just ticks me off when people who are knowledgeable & instead of maybe giving back they put down honest, hard working, low waged (& yes not even a diploma) workers! As well as all the freebies given to undeserving people! My mother chose the high road, no food stamps, no welfare, no reduced lunches, credit cards for Emergency room visits. “Personal Responsibility” thinking all the while she was doing everything right, NOT, thanks Gov’t! Though we didn’t have everything we wanted, we had what we needed & she has more integrity in her pinky finger than your pointing finger! I know SS won’t be there for me, I’m only 54, yet I have enough credits & years now to be qualified for it! I’m not whining, but bitchin’, I can deal w/ my circumstances, but my mother deserves so much more! Also why should millionaire politicians get pensions? Esp. former Pres.(s) benes galore, being worth 100’s of millions & still take every dime they can squeeze out of us! They’ll never spend all the money sucked from us, but they’ll point that same finger at the private sector. Elitist Hypocrisy who never had to choose between meds & bills. SMH Oh & a lot has changed since 1992.

    • Hi Mary! Thanks for chiming in. If you receive retirement benefits, and you are working, but still under full retirement age, the yearly limit of your wages in 2015 is $15,720. If you attain full retirement age in 2015 that amount changes to $41,880. There are no limits on how much you can earn once you attain your full retirement age. To learn more go to http://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/whileworking.html. We only count the gross amount of your wages. Rental income is not considered “wages” and does not affect your Social Security benefits. You can also learn more about how work affects your benefits at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/EN-05-10069.pdf.

      • James, you are not quite correct in your statement. There are no restrictions on how much someone can earn. A person can earn whatever they like –However, the SS benefits will be reduced or completely offset if they earn more than the limits you mentioned above. There are many people who earn over the limits and are still able to collect some SS benefits in the year, so it is irresponsible to imply that people can’t make more than those limits. Check the SSA website for how earnings affect benefits.

  5. My SS DECREASED because from 64-66 I worked part time…then retired at 66. SS took out a whole month of my SS and I did not get paid that check. I wrote and called they never gave me back my money!

    • If you continue to work and you took your SS early, there is a maximum on what can be earned and a penalty if you earn more than the maximum allowed ($1 for every $2 over I believe). Once you reach full retirement age, that earning restriction goes away and your SS is placed back to the original amount. Plus if the annual earning for those years that you continued to work were higher than any of the 35 years used to calculate your retirement amount, the amount would be recalculated using that year(s). SS uses your highest 35 years of earnings to determine you amount.

      • You would think so, but from what I’ve read & read again & again, your PIA does not change. And you only get very little as the higher wages are not indexed. Say in 1965 your wages are indexed @ a certain %age rate, that same percentage does not apply when substituting 1965 for 1992 wages. Also when SS figures your rate, it stops 2 years prior to turning 62 & the indexing ends in 1990. If I am wrong, I welcome any corrections! They make it so hard i.e. 35 years = 420 months to calculate AIME, then multiply 90% of permissible amt. of AIME, then multiply 32% of the next perm. amt. & finally 15% over & above the 2nd amount. Then you have bend points. Also you are supposed to be allowed to adjust your PIA between 66 & 70 with allowable COLA added as well. But in real life, “they” don’t even know nor care & will tell your are wrong no matter if show them in black & white, they’ll always come up w/ an excuse, believe me I tried! Like I said tell me if I am not understanding. I’ve downloaded all materials, tried every which way to reach their figures even with the penalty for being 62 & like I said she was told she must take the higher amt @ 62 & does not receive a widows benefit, just her $864.00 for over 65 years of work.

  6. Are you nuts to wait until 70??? Do you know what’s it’s like to be an old woman working in an IT environment? Plus, SS probably won’t be around when I’m 70! Very bad advice.

  7. It is true that your pension will increase if you delay your retirement but that assumes I believe, that you will continue to work after your official retirement age. In my case, I reached retirement age two years ago but stopped working and, therefore, I am not contributing to SS. I believe this circumstance will negatively affect my pension, meaning I will not receive more when I am 70 years old. Any comments?

    • Not actually true… SS uses your highest 35 years of earnings to calculate the amount that you will receive. If you delay taking the SS until age 70, the amount would still increase. However, you should consider how much you would not collect between age 66 thru age 70 if you delay. That would be 4 years or 48 monthly checks of whatever your check amount would be at age 66. Then you can check to see what the check amount would be at age 70. The difference between 66 and 70 divided into the total of those 48 checks will tell you how long it will take for you to make up what would have been lost by delaying. In my case (see above) it would have been 13.33 years.

    • Thanks for starting a great conversation here, Pedro! While it’s true that higher total lifetime earnings may result in higher retirement benefits, your benefits will increase automatically by a certain percentage if you have delayed receiving benefits. These increases, called delayed retirement credits, are added in automatically from the time a person reached full retirement age until he or she begins receiving benefits or until reaching age 70. To learn more about these automatic delayed retirement credits, go to http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/quickcalc/early_late.html.

      • Thanks for all of the info Mr. LaPaglia. Here’s a twist on what has been discussed already — I know that if I wait to collect Social Security at my FRA (66) and then continue to work SSA will refigure my benefit every year due to the “high-35” years of earnings (this of course assumes my earnings are increasing). But, will the benefit only increase because of this, or will it also increase each year due to the “delayed retirement credits.” In my particular case, I will get 100 percent of my benefit at 66, but 132 percent if I wait until 70. If I start collecting at 66, will my benefit increase each year only because my “high-35” goes up, or will it also go up by 8 percent per year to account for the delayed retirement credit? Thanks

        • John, if you start collecting benefits at your full retirement age (66), you do not get delayed retirement credits. Social Security delayed retirement credits are granted only if you delay your receiving benefits beyond your full retirement age. You do not receive any delayed retirement credits after age 70, even if you continue to delay receiving benefits. If you begin receiving retirement benefits at your full retirement age and continue working, you may get increases based on your work activity. For more information, please read Delayed Retirement Credits and Getting Benefits While Working.

  8. You should have received an adjustment when you turned 66 years of age which would reduce percentage reduction applied to your benefits when you initially filed. SS does this automatically. You should have received a notice advising you of new amounts.

  9. According to the 2015 SS manual in PDF, “You do NOT receive any delayed collecting bonus of Social Security benefits after age 69.”
    Therefore, your number are wrong for one, and, at the very best case scenario, you could possibly reap a 24% increase in benefits if you wait until 70 to retire.

    • You are reading this wrong. What they mean by after age 69 is your birthday month at age 70. If you take benefits at age 69 and 11 months, it will be .67% lower than if you wait until the month of your 70th birthday.

  10. Pedro- You will still get a higher benefit amount at age 70 whether you continue to work or not (assuming you have 40 quarters in earnings and otherwise qualify). The benefit should be 133% of your full retirement age amount.

  11. What everyone is forgetting is that you are eligible to take half of your spouses SS from 66 to 70 and still delay yours until 70. So, in those four years, you are virtually losing 2 years of SS which brings your break even point to your middle 70’s.

  12. A big consideration has to be your health. If you wait until 70 to retire will you be able to enjoy that extra income or will your health prevent you from doing anything other than the norm. Personally I’d rate retire early and enjoy life. But this was also a decision my spouse and I made together because what one does affects the other when you look at a death benefit.

    • Agreed. We’re all rolling the dice when it comes to our health in retirement. It’s a crap-shoot at best. Also think about it this way. Hopefully we were all good, hard working savers our entire lives. Why would we throw all those principles out the door at 62 and gamble on how long we’re going to live? You’re supposed to get more conservative with your money and investments when you approach retirement, not gamble 5-8 years of potential earnings. Of course the government wants us to delay, the payout is less in the long run! Take the money as soon as you can, especially if you think you’ll have some health issues, and enjoy retirement. The early years are known as the “go-years” for a reason. That’s when we’ll enjoy it the most because we’ll still be active. Waiting to claim benefits until you get close to the “no-go years” is a huge gamble!

      • U r right Take it when u can .Im 61 n retired .I was lucky my job pays me a supplement until I get to 62 .im enjoying life right now dancing n camping ..70 is a long way so what if I get to 70 n I can’t go anywhere or do fun things .? The big checks will go to meds .

  13. To all those who kindly took the time to respond, I’d like to express my sincere thanks. I came to this country about 13 years ago, worked for 10 years, became a proud American in the process but never had a highly paid salary. I stopped working two years ago due to health limitations and, therefore, have not contributed anymore. That is why I assumed that SS will also considered in the equation not only the 10 years I worked but, also, the ones I have not worked until I finally ask for my pension. Again, many thanks.

  14. Divorced after 24 years of marriage / older than ex-spouse / his birth year is 1948 – mine is 1942 – how can find out when he begins to draw SS & if his is greater than mine – can I draw from his rather than mine.

    • Marlene, stay tuned later this week because we’ll have a blog entry that talks about ex-spouses benefits, but in the meantime here’s some info. If you are eligible for benefits on your own record as well as on your ex-spouse’s record, you may have options when it comes to choosing when to claim each one. It may be helpful for you to read our web page, “If You Are Divorced,” at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/retire2/divspouse.htm. To find out how much you are eligible for on each record and to discuss your options, contact us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday or visit your local Social Security office. To find your local office, please visit http://go.usa.gov/Z4fT.

  15. As you state, it’s a personal decision that should include consideration of many factors. If an individual has other retirement assets and doesn’t need SS for a few years, I do think there can be cases where it makes a lot of sense for the higher wage earner (in a marriage where both are eligible to receive benefits) to wait until age 70. For example, if the FRA for both is 66, and the lower earner is 4 years younger, and both anticipate living into their late 80’s-early 90’s, there are exceptions in the SS rules that allow the lower earner to claim at 62, and the higher earner at FRA (66) to file a “restricted claim for spousal benefit only” while there benefit receives an 8% increase for 4 years (to age 70). It’s my understanding that, depending on the numbers, the lower earner may switch to a spousal benefit when they reach FRA, based on the higher earners FRA benefit (provided this is a greater number, after adjustment for the early claim on their own benefit). . This provides more income during their later years when other funds may begin to dwindle. Perhaps more importantly, if the higher earner pre-deceases the lower earner, the survivor is entitled to receive the full amount that was being received by the deceased.
    Yes, it’s complicated. But depending on your situation and the assumptions you choose, it can be a more beneficial solution.

    • Floyd, questioning what you said about the benefit of a deceased spouse. My mom earned more than my dad who is deceased. Is it correct she only gets a prorated amount of his SS? She is living on $1,114 a month and just doesnt seem right.

  16. I meet all the requirements for receiving part of my ex husbands SS in 2016 when he turns 62 (2 yr younger). I want to continue to work, draw that SS until I am 70 then stop his and start drawing my own SS. Does this sound doable?

  17. 750 per month at 62 and 1 month , you would have 95 payments by age 70 of 71,250.00 plus cola adjustments each year . if you waited to 70 you would have nothing at age 70. you cant draw ss at 62. you have to be 62 and 1 month. if you live only a few months past the breakeven age , you want be ahead by much. the difference between drawing ss at 62 & one month and 63 & one month is less than waiting one more year to 64 & one month

  18. I retired at age 62. If I would have waited until I was 65 I would have received ONLY $50;00 more a month, At $50 more a month at age 65 it would have taken me 13 years to make the amount of money back that I collected between 62 and 65.

  19. If one will have FICA wages of $70,000 this year and has always had wages comparable to the ratio of this wage and the National Average Wage Index for past years, and if that person retires this year at age 66, the monthly benefit will be about $2,180. If future COLAs are 2% per year that person’s benefit at age 70 will be about $3,103 per month. At age 80 years and 2 months (breakeven age) the total benefits received by either choice will be about $437,432. The probablilty of a male surving from 66 to that age is about 62% and the probablilty of female is about 72%. If one survives beyond this age (a span of 14 years and 2 months) it will have been an economic mistake to have taken benefits at 66.

  20. If one is already receiving disability benefits, which automatically switch to retirement benefits at FRA, is there any point suspending benefits until age 70 to get the larger monthly amount? (assuming financial ability to suspend benefits in the first place!)

  21. I need this explained to me. Using the above figures if you wait until 66 to receive the extra $250 a month you’ll lose $36,000 ($750x12x4). It will take 12 years (age 78) to make that up ($36,000/extra250/12). If your average retirement is 20 years and you retire at 62 you’re only receiving 4 years of extra benefit. If you wait until 70 you’ll lose 8 years of $750 per month ($72,000) which will take you 10.5 years (age 80.5) to make that up ($72,000/extra 570/12). Again 20 years to 82 and you only get 1.5 years of extra benefit. That’s a hell of a crap shoot for a very small benefit. What am I missing??

  22. Is it true that if I want to delay FRA to age 67 that I can get a lump sum payment of the amount of money I would have collected between 66 and 67.I realize that it means that I would lose the 8% increase between 66 and 67.

    • Hello. If you delay applying for Social Security benefits past your full retirement age, you can receive up to six months of retroactive benefits. For example, if your full retirement age was 66 but you do not file for benefits until you are 66 and six months of age, you could get your missed six months of benefits paid to you as a lump sum. If you filed later than this (at age 67, for example), you would still only be able to get a maximum of six months of retroactive benefits. Hope this helps!

  23. How will this impact your medicare status and the 10% penality for not taking retirement at the correct age ? How does this impact the federal, city and state government off set for have worked 2 jobs to collect SS and a pension?

  24. I turned 62 this February and my wife is a little over four years older than me. She has not earned enough credits to file for Social Security on her record. She cannot file for her spouse benefit until I file for my benefit. If we wait until I am 66 years old to file, it would take us until I was 86 and she 90 before we would break even as there is no more delay credits for her spouse benefit. When I quite working in Oct. I will file so she can file. If I was allowed to file and suspend at my current age I would do that so she could get her spouse benefit. I have a good pension and retirement savings. I will file early so we can net the most SS benefit over our combine lifespans under current rules. Maybe the rules need adjustment.

  25. My Husband is still working at age 63. Wants to work until full retirement age. Can I draw on his SS even if he is still working. I am 71.

    • Yes you can if he has filed. Then you can file for a spouse benefit. But if he makes too much money at work both his and your benefit will be forfeited. Most likely you would pay income tax on your benefit too. If he was at his full retirement age he could file and suspend his benefit allowing you to draw your spouse benefit and his working would not effect your benefit. My post is right above yours and we are in the same dilemma. It would take us 20 years to recoup the lost benefit if we wait until I was 66 years old to file. Your husband once he has reached his full retirement age which like mine is 66 yrs old can suspend his benefit even if he filed earlier. That would allow some delayed retirement benefit credits for him till age 70. That would allow you to keep your spouse benefit and his working would not effect your benefit. I have read numerous books on both Social Security and Medicare and these programs are convoluted and complicated.

  26. My wife started collecting SS when she reached age 62. She gets about $650 p/mth. I will wait until I am 66 to collect. Let’s say I will collect $2000 p/mth. When I file for SS at 66, does my wife’s spousal benefit go to $1000 p/mth plus my $2000 p/mth making our total SS $3,000 for our household?

    • Good question, and while we can’t address specifics of your case on this blog, here are some general rules. If your wife qualifies on her own record, we will pay that amount first. But if she also qualifies for a higher amount as a spouse, she’ll get a combination of benefits that equals that higher amount. Find out more on our web page, “Retirement Planner: Benefits For Your Spouse.” For more information, contact us at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., or you can visit your local office.

  27. I pulled the trigger and filed for benefits to start in Oct of this year. I will be 62 years old. My last day at work will be Sept. 25, 2015. I will get one full pay check on Oct. 1 and three days pay (the last few days of Sept.) Oct. 8th. I also will get my vacation, partial sick time and saved holidays pay out on that last check. all earned before my retirement date. It will be about 45000 dollar payout. Is this a special payment or will it count towards my monthly earning limits?

    • Stephen, generally, any payments you receive for the work you did before you begin receiving Social Security benefits will not affect your benefit and will be considered a special payment. If your yearly earnings exceed the earnings limit due to a special payment, you should contact us in order to prevent the payment from being included as part of your total earnings for the year. Please visit our publication, Special Payments After Retirement, for further information. Hope this helps.

  28. My comment was about the loop hole. I retired in 89 after 20 years service. I didn’t know about the loop hole. I didn’t get a penny of s/s until I was 75 and a widow. Then it was I/3 of my husbands as I had worked for the school and got my trs check .

  29. I received a letter from SSA stating that my child’s benefits would be reduced from $234 to $86 and then would return to $234, without any explanation. I have received nothing in the way of child’s benefits for June and I have difficulty communicating with SSA since I live in South America. Can anybody explain what is going on?

    • Robert, Unfortunately your concerns are a bit more complex than we can address on our blog, and for security reasons we do not have access to information about your child’s account in this venue. Please contact your local U.S. Embassy or consulate for assistance. You can find their contact information here.

  30. Married 14 years and that was annulled in year 15. Does the ex still retain right to collect based on my SS earnings? Strange but true.

  31. I’m not finding anywhere in the rules for social security that between 66 1/2 to 70 yrs of age you will automatically retroactive pay for a 6 mo period and your monthly benefit will be reduced. So what do I do to NOT receive retroactive pay. I want to receive my calculated monthly benefit at 70 instead of a calculated monthly benefit at 69 1/2. How do I go about handling this?

  32. My wife finally decided to retire sometime this year 2015,just hasn’t set the date until talking with her union retirement office.
    In Oct she will have worked 37 years and in Nov will turn 63! We have been told buy other workers that if she retires end of Nov and waits 90 days it will change the amount of her SS.

    • Congratulations to your wife on her upcoming retirement Phil, that’s great!

      If your wife chooses to get benefits any time prior to reaching her full retirement age, her monthly benefit amount will be reduced (her full retirement age is determined by the year of her birth).
      We use the highest 35 years of earnings to compute an individual’s benefit amount, and your payment amount is based on the month you decide to start your benefits. Our system is only set up to take applications three months (or 90 days) in advance.

      Benefits are paid the month after they are due. So, for instance, if your wife wants her benefits to begin with the month of December, she will receive her first benefit payment in January.

      For better planning, your wife can create a mySocialSecurity account to review estimates of her retirement benefits, her earnings record, and the estimated Social Security and Medicare taxes she’s paid. When she is ready, she can complete the online application for Social Security retirement benefits in just 15 minutes! We hope this information helps.

    • Thank you for your response! She starts her 38 year of work on Oct 13 and turns 63 on Nov 2 so she is retiring by the end of Dec at latest. What we have been told was if she waits for three months before getting her SS it would for some reason change the amount she gets? She will be taking it at age 63 just not sure how long after retiring to do it.

      • Phil, thanks for letting us clarify any confusion. Yes, her monthly benefit amount can change every month she waits to apply prior to her full retirement age. We will establish her monthly benefit amount based on the month she decides to start collecting her benefits. Perhaps the confusion about the “90 days” is caused because she can apply for benefits three months (or 90 days) in advance. She can apply in October 2015 and schedule her benefits to begin in January 2016. In this scenario, your wife will receive her first payment in February, because we pay benefits after the completion of the month they are due. She could also select benefits to begin in October, November or December 2015, but the amount will be reduced. If she is working throughout the end of 2015, she may want her benefits to begin in January 2016 – see How Work Affects Your Benefits. If she or you have any additional questions about when she should apply or begin her benefits, please contact us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. Wait times are generally shorter if you call later in the week.

        • Since you answered my question about my wife retiring some things have changed! Her company made a small offer of $10,000 to get top earners to retire and this is like free money as she was retiring at the end of this year. If she takes it her last day could be Aug28th and she filed her retirement papers for Sept 1. My new question is will her est amount change from the 62 years est to 63 year old est if she hold off on SS until her birthday Nov 2,2015? Also the est for 62 back in 2014 stated the new numbers est of earnings probably same as last few years.She has earned $19,000 less at this point in the year but still would have four weeks of pay plus the $10,000 that would have taxes taken out so she might be within a few thousand dollars of last few years. Thanks Phil

          • Yes Phil, the monthly Social Security retirement benefit amount will increase the closer your wife gets to her full retirement age. Remember, you can start your retirement benefits as soon as age 62, but they will be reduced by a fraction of a percent for each month you receive them before your full retirement age.

            We recommend that your wife make an appointment with one of our representatives by phone or in person to discuss her specific situation and ask any questions she may have about when to start her benefits. To make an appointment, your wife should call us at 1-800-772-1213 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. Wait times are generally shorter if you call later in the week.

          • Yes Phil, the monthly Social Security retirement benefit amount will increase the closer your wife gets to her full retirement age. Remember, you can start your retirement benefits as soon as age 62, but they will be reduced by a fraction of a percent for each month you receive them before your full retirement age.

            We recommend that your wife makes an appointment with one of our representatives by phone or in person to discuss her specific situation and ask any questions she may have about when to start her benefits. To make an appointment, your wife should call us at 1-800-772-1213 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. Wait times are generally shorter if you call later in the week.

  33. My wife and I have looked at our pending retirement and have a few questions. My wife will turn 70 in January 2017, she plans to keep working until late in 2018. She has not started her SSI yet but we anticipate starting this when she turns 70, they would be about $2800/mo. As we are both still working are the SSI checks subject the “excess earnings” criteria and thus taxed as such or are they exempt given her age, I am almost 9 years younger if that is a factor? A separate but related question; in late 2018 when we both retire I will be 63. I will receive a state defined retirement benefit of $1900/mo, if I collect my SSI then is it subject to “excess earnings” based in part on the state defined income and/or other investments we can collect?

    • Thanks for your questions Ron, and for communicating with us using our blog. Although you mentioned “SSI” in your message, we assume you are talking about Social Security retirement benefits and not “Supplemental Security Income (SSI).”

      Your wife has already attained full retirement age, so she can apply for benefits at any time without having deductions made to her benefit amount because of earnings.
      She can wait to start receiving her retirement benefits, but can only earn Delayed Retirement Credits up to age 70.

      As far as your own situation, since you plan to begin your benefits before you reach your full retirement age, your benefits may be reduced due to your earnings if you continue to work. Please see our publication, How Work Affects Your Benefits. Your “state defined retirement benefit” will not count as earnings, but it may cause a reduction in your benefit due to the Windfall Elimination Provision.

      If you each don’t already have one, you and your wife can create mySocialSecurity accounts to review estimates of your retirement benefits, earnings record, and the estimated Social Security and Medicare taxes you’ve paid.

      For income tax-related questions, you will need to contact the IRS. Their toll free number is 1-800-829-1040. We hope this information helps!

  34. I will be 70 next year (August 2016). By then I will have worked for 10 years and earned 40 points. At 65 I claimed social security on my husband’s record and I got just over $500 a month. I also got medicare on my husband’s record. My husband divorced me last year and I am dependent on what I earn in my job and that social security. Next year I can claim SS on my own record and hopefully retire. Will the SS on my husband’s record be taken away from me? I am not sure how much I will receive next year but I feel sure I will not be able to live on it if it is going to be taken away. I cannot work indefinitely. Someone told me that it will be taken away once I claim on my own but I was told by the dept. that the only way it can be taken away is if I get married again which I do not intend. My husband does not pay me alimony. Can you advise?

    • Hi Mary and thank you for your question. We cannot be sure how much you will receive on your own record once you attain your 40 credits, until you officially apply. You can continue to receive divorced spouse’s benefits, but if your benefit as a divorced spouse is higher than your own retirement benefits, you will get a combination of benefits equaling the higher amount. Remember that you must report changes and update your records by calling our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Hope this helps.

      • Thank you Ray, Just one little question.. an easy one. I am 70 next August. When is the best time to apply for social security assuming my 40 points are up by then.. I want to hang on til I’m 70. I was told as long as I am within 6 months of my 70th birthday. I want to make sure just in case I get more due to being 70. Well that would be nice.

        • Hi Mary, Our system is set up to take applications up to three months in advance of the month in which you want your benefits to start. In your case, we suggest you call us as soon as you think you have attained your 40 credits and speak to a representative about applying. You can call us at 1-800-772-1213 Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thanks!

          • Hello again Fernandez,
            I know it sounds crazy but I only recently found out that I can claim a pension from the work I did in the UK. I had mistakenly thought that once you got citizenship in the States you couldn’t get it from the UK. How does that work presuming I apply in the UK for it. I have found out the US has an agreement with the UK, but how do they do it? Is it lumped with the US SS or will it be sent to me separately. In this small town where I live it appears that they have no idea how to go about it. Really! They couldn’t even find the correct UK gov website. So I looked it up myself. Can you enlighten me as to how the SS deal with this. It could apply to any alien from any country. Thank you in advance.

          • Hello again Mary ! The United States has bilateral Social Security agreements with 25 countries.
            International Social Security agreements, often called “Totalization agreements,” help assure continuity of benefit protection for persons who have acquired Social Security credits under the system of the United States and the system of another country. These type of claims require special processing between your local office and our Office of International Operations.
            For your security, we do not have access to your personal information, in your situation it’s best to continue working with your local U.S. Social Security office. Please see “Totalization Agreement with the United Kingdom” for more information. You can also read our publication: “How International Agreements Can Help You”. We hope this information helps!

  35. i am retiring in june, at age 62,which means i will only pay into social security until march. will be benefit be decreased since i am only paying in for 3 months ,i guess what i am asking does it matter in what month i retire,

    • Hi Frank, everybody must pay Social Security taxes while working, so you will pay taxes until the last day you work. You can start receiving retirement benefits at age 62, but if you decide to get benefits before your full retirement age, they will be reduced no matter what month you choose to retire. There are a lot of factors that go into deciding when to retire, so for more information on when and how to apply for retirement benefits, visit our Retirement Planner. You can also create a mySocialSecurity account to review estimates of your retirement, disability, and survivors benefits, your earnings record, and the estimated Social Security and Medicare taxes you’ve paid. We hope this helps!

  36. When estimating my Social security between age 66 and 67 on the Estimator it estimates less than 8 % more like 2%. I don’t understand I realize it is only an estimate but why would it be different from the other years?

    • We apologize for any confusion. Unfortunately, but for your security, we do not have access to your personal information in this venue. To better assist you, please contact your local field office, or call our toll free number, 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) and ask to speak with one of our representatives, who are available Monday through Friday between 7:00am and 7:00pm. Thanks!

    • I’m seeing the same thing. Below is the calculations from ssa.gov, for each age, monthly amount, percentage change from the previous year.

      65 $2312 .076
      66 $2488 .076
      67 $2531 .017
      68 $2742 .083
      69 $2952 .076
      70 $3330 .128

  37. I am 68 years old currently collecting half of my husbands SS $1,100 a month and delayed my own SS. I am thinking of taking my own before I reach 70 based on some of the comments on your blog. I will be 69 in Feb 2016. When should I apply to receive my SS? Is it prudent to take now or stick it out and wait? Also if I apply now but don’t want a check until 2916 do I receive the amount the month I apply or the month I receive my check. The difference in the amount between now and February of 2017 when I turn 70 is 260.00 a month. Thanks.

    • You have great questions Fern! The decision on when to file is a personal one. However, there are a lot of factors that go into deciding when to apply and start receiving benefits on your own record. As you know already – you are currently earning Delayed Retirement Credits on your record, and can continue to earn them if you delay getting your benefit up until age 70. To help you plan, you can estimate the amount of your own benefit using our online calculators. You can also create a my Social Security account to verify your earnings, and get a copy of your Social Security Statement.
      Our system is set up to take applications three months in advance, and at age 68, you can apply for your benefits online at any time now. Remember that benefits are paid the month after they are due. So, for instance, if you want your benefits to begin with the month of October, you will receive your first benefit payment in November. If you need further assistance call our toll free number, 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) and ask to speak with one of our representatives, who are available Monday through Friday between 7:00am and 7:00pm. We hope this helps!

  38. Mr Fernandez, Mr Dickerson, or others here from SSA:

    Is it true that on an actuarial basis, it does not matter when you take your retirement after 62 or perhaps after FRA? In other words, the years you lose (on average) by retiring AFTER 62 are balanced off (on average) by the increased amount of retirement benefits received (at least until age 70)? This publication http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10147.pdf implies so when says on page 1 “Let’s say your full retirement age is 66 and your monthly benefit starting at that age is $1,000. If you choose to start getting benefits at age 62, we’ll reduce your monthly benefit 25 percent to $750 to
    account for the longer period of time you receive
    benefits.” Does this mean it EXACTLY offsets the longer period of time (on average), or something else? From the recipient’s point of view, the time value of money to take into account as well as taxes and uncertainty about future benefits.)

    Answering this question would go a long way to solving the perpetual problem folks seem to have in figuring out what is better financially. I THOUGHT the answer was “it doesn’t matter much”; that is, if you are perfectly average, it doesn’t matter at all in terms of the lifetime benefit you will receive whether you take the benefit between 62 and 70. Actuary’s point of view — True or False? Or, perhaps, is it the case that it doesn’t matter (in those terms) when you begin taking benefits, but only between FRA and 70? True or False? Your actuaries can tell you. Please share it with the public.

    If we can get a clear “yes” or “no” from SSA, I would be most grateful. It would be better than being told that “this is a personal decision.” I need information to make that decision. Thank you.

    • Yes and no. All they need to know in order to answer your question is the exact age you will be when you die. ……… What? You don’t know that? Then how do you expect them to give you an answer?

  39. I am retiring from my job at 62.5. I want to collect SS benefits the month I retire. I will not be getting another job. If I wait until full retirement age (66.0) will my benefits increase even tho I will not be contributing to Social Security?

  40. I am 64 and plan on receiving Social Security benefits soon. If my benefit start date is December 2015 and will not receive payment until January 2016 will my wages and bonus for December which would be over $1310.00 cause me to have a reduced check in January?
    If I wait until January 2016 to apply and my first check would be February could I work for 3 months and make over $1310.00 per month but less than $15720 per year (for example $4000.00 per month) would that affect my monthly payment?

    • Great question Mary. In 2015, at age 64, the monthly earnings allowed are $1,310 or less. If you make more than $1,310 in December, you cannot receive a payment in January. A person younger than full retirement age for the entire year will be considered retired if he or she earns $1,310 or less in a month. We will apply the annual limit amount beginning in January 2016.
      Please read our publication: “How Work Affects Your Benefits” for more information.

  41. I plan on taking SS at age 62. I’ll be lucky if I make to age 72 so it makes no sense to wait. Luckily, I’ve saved up enough to “retire” now so I can enjoy at least 20 years before I kick the bucket.

  42. Trying to reckon the difference b/w taking it next April at 69 or waiting till April of ’17.
    Lines crossing above age 83 or whatever it is exactly look like a pretty modest increase out to one’s late 90s. Thoughts or comments?

    • Thanks for your question David. There are a lot of factors that go into deciding when to retire, the decision on when to file is a personal one. Please visit our Retirement Planner for more information on when and how to apply for retirement benefits. You earn Delayed Retirement Credits when and if you delay getting your benefit up until age 70. To help you plan, you can estimate the amount of your own benefit using our online calculators. You can also create a my Social Security account to verify your earnings, and get a copy of your Social Security Statement.
      Our system is set up to take applications three months in advance, and when you’re ready, you can apply for your benefits online. If you need further assistance call our toll free number, 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) and ask to speak with one of our representatives, who are available Monday through Friday between 7:00am and 7:00pm. We hope this helps!

  43. im 62, already retired from work, have 37+ years FT work history but will wait to claim SS when i’m 66-70. will my benefit increase by the stated 8% or so per year. thank you for any comment.

    • Thank you for your question. Social Security retirement benefits are increased by a certain percentage (depending on your date of birth) if you delay your retirement beyond your full retirement age. If you delay your retirement benefits until after your full retirement age, you also may be eligible for delayed retirement credits. The yearly rate of increase for those born in 1943 or later is 8%. If you decide to delay your retirement, remember to sign up for Medicare at age 65.

  44. My question is.. I took social security at age 64 because I had retired. I was told since I wasn’t earning any more wages my benefit amount would stay the same even if I waited to 66 to retire. Now a friend said she was told even though she is no longer working that the amount would go up. Who’s right?

    • Hi Joanne, the benefit amount that you’re receiving, is established at the time you applied for retirement benefits. It is based on the amount of your average lifetime earnings, and your age at the time you applied. Generally there are two ways that your benefits can increase: If you continue to work while receiving retirement (or survivors) benefits, your monthly benefit amount could increase. Each year, we review the records for all working Social Security recipients to see if additional earnings may increase monthly benefits. The other way your monthly benefit amount could increase is based on the annual Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA).

  45. I medically retired and am on $1600 a month SS at 62 I’m receiving VA total disability for Parkinson’s that has just started this month. My wife of 45yrs wants to know what effect her retiring at 65 instead of 66 will do to her check? Will she collect 7% less at 65 than at 66 and because I’m already on SS retirement what does this do to her SS ck? INPUT PLEASE

    • Hi Bill, if your wife is under full retirement age and qualifies on her own record, we will pay that amount first. But if she also qualifies for a higher amount as a spouse, she’ll get a combination of benefits that equals that higher amount.
      If she begins receiving benefits prior to attaining her full retirement age, the amount will be permanently reduced by a percentage based on the number of months up to her full retirement age. Use our “Benefits By Year Of Birth Chart” to find out how much your and your wife’s benefit can be reduced prior to full retirement age.

  46. Are there any other requirements to be met other than 40 credits (10 yrs of work period) for a USA citizen ? I have worked for 22 yrs, paying into the SS system (most of the time I’ve reached the maximum amount to be paid every year). Now retired at age 46 and living on my savings. I know that 35 yrs of SS paid is used for calculating benefits + claiming benefits @ 62 vs 66 or 67 vs 70. Question is – any other requirement such as – having to work during my 50’s (or during the last 5 yrs), in order to claim benefit at 62 yrs (even though it ay be reduced) ?

    • Hi Victor. Generally, you will need to have 40 credits, or 10 years of work paying Social Security taxes, to qualify for any type of Social Security benefit. When you apply for retirement benefits, we base your benefit payment on your highest 35 years of earnings and your age when you start receiving benefits. Higher lifetime earnings result in higher benefits. If there were some years you didn’t work or had low earnings, your benefit amount may be lower than if you had worked steadily. See our Retirement Planning page for more information.
      To qualify for Disability Benefits, you must have worked and earned the required number of credits within a certain period ending with the time you become disabled. Generally, you need to have worked for five of the last ten years before you become disabled. Credits are the “building blocks” we use to find out whether you have the minimum amount of covered work to qualify for each type of Social Security benefits.

      • Thank you Ray. Bottom line – As long as 40 quarter credits have been earned, there is no other requirement such as needing to work in the last 5 years before 62, etc to claim (reduced due to the 35 yrs avg being reduced) benefits – right ? I’m not talking about disability benefits, etc ; just regular SS benefits, albeit at a lower level – since 12 or 13 yrs of 0 income will bring down my 35 yrs avg ??

    • Thank you for your question, Bel. Your mother’s benefits are paid based on her previous years of work and her contributions to the Social Security program. Other income or resources will not affect her retirement benefits.
      Benefits paid under the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, on the other hand, are subject to other income and resources.

  47. If I retire from my career at age 62, and stop working altogether, but do not claim my social security benefits at that time, what percent does my social security benefit increase with each passing year to the full retirement age of 66? I would be no longer contributing, so the social security statement estimate of my retirement benefits at full retirement age (based upon my current income) would not be correct.

  48. I have three questions that should help to finalize my decision on continuing to work or retire at Age 66:
    1. My wife and would receive $1,400 and 2,400, respectively at age 66 (April 2016)
    What percent penalty is there for a married couple if the combined monthly amount is $3,800 and neither one of us is working?
    2. Same as above, but continue to work at a $100,000 salary.
    Note: Is the $3,800 ($45,600 yearly) combined not withstanding any penalties, if applicable and added as Gross Income for a total of $145,600 and taxed at the normal rate at that amount?
    3. What is the maximum you can earn as a couple before you are penalized using my example above?

    • Hi Tom, it seems like you are planning your retirement and your wife’s retirement when you both attain your full retirement age. If you were born January 2, 1943, through January 1, 1955, then your full retirement age is 66. If you are working in 2016, the limit on your earnings is $41,880, but we only count earnings before the month you reach your full retirement age. We deduct $1 in benefits for every $3 you earn above that limit. You may continue working and keep all of your benefits when you attain full retirement age, no matter how much you earn. We apply these earnings limitations individually not as a couple. Some people have to pay federal income taxes on their Social Security benefits. This usually happens only if you have other substantial income (such as wages, self-employment, interest, dividends and other taxable income that must be reported on your tax return) in addition to your benefits. For further income tax questions, you will need to contact the IRS. Their toll-free number is 1-800-829-1040

  49. I began receiving SS benefits March 2015 at age 65. Is it too late to withdraw my SS and pay back the amount received and reapply after my FRA in March 2016? I learned I could have filed on my former spouse’s SS if I had waited until 66 and delayed mine until age 70.

    • Thanks for your question. Yes, you may be able to withdraw your Social Security claim and re-apply at a future date. However, you must do this within 12 months after the date you originally began receiving benefits. Keep in mind that there are some things you need to know about what will happen if you withdraw your application. Read the details at “If You Change Your Mind”. Please contact your local Social Security office directly or call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. for further assistance.

  50. At 61.75 I am about to “retire” from my company, only in terms of leaving my employment, i.e. I don’t intend to collect SS until my full retirement age (66) or later (70). But, leaving work at essentially 62, that does not penalize me in regard to my SS benefits when I do begin taking it, right? In other words, just because I am leaving my employment at 62, I won’t loose any amount of my benefits that I will have when I do file years down the road?

    • Thanks for your question Robbie. You will not be penalized for leaving your employment at age 62. However, If a person file and starts receiving Social Security retirement benefits at age 62 or any time prior to their full retirement age, their benefit amount is reduced. In the other hand, you earn Delayed Retirement Credits when and if you delay getting your benefit up until age 70. To help you plan for the future, you can use our Retirement Planner and you can also create a my Social Security account to verify your earnings, get your Social Security Statement, and much more. We hope this information helps!

  51. I am 66 years old. If I start taking SS benefits then I understand that there is no penalty if I am working and earning.
    My wife is 62 and she does not work. If she starts taking SS benefits on my records. Will there be any reduction in her payments due to my earnings.

    • Thank you for your question. Your wife may file for spousal benefits under your record as long as she is already receiving benefits. However, if she is between age 62 and her full retirement age, her spousal benefit will be permanently reduced by a percentage on the number of months up to her full retirement age.

      Also, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, made some changes to Social Security’s laws about claiming retirement and spousal benefits. Section 831 of the law (entitled “Closure of Unintended Loopholes”) made several changes to the Social Security Act and closed two complex loopholes that were used primarily by married couples. Our Retirement Planner: Recent Social Security Claiming Changes explains what is changing and how it might affect you. If you still have questions, or need further assistance, you should call our toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213. Representatives are available between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday but you will generally have a shorter wait time if you call later in the week. We hope this information is helpful.

  52. After hitting my FRA, does my monthly benefit go up each month I defer, or only by annual increments? In other words, if I claim at 66 and 6 months will my check be larger than it would have been on my 66th birthday?

      • I would like to know delay benefit is good or 6 month retroactive benefit claim better if FRA in August and take 6 month reactive benefit in feb 2017. This will differ earning 2016 earning in 2017. please clarify

  53. I am a new immigrant to the USA. I am 64 years old. I will start my first working quarter in USA in 2016. If I worked for 10 year at $30000/year salary.

    1. Will I be eligible and receive social security benefits?
    2. If yes, how much will it be approximately in todays dollars?

    I tired to estimate my benefits with the Quick Calculator online. It does not take into account the quarters I work after reaching 62. So it says I have zero qualifying quarters.

    • Thank you for your questions DJ Bhola. We are sorry that you were not able to use any of our many calculators. Current law requires that an individual earns 40 credits to qualify for Social Security retirement benefits. You can earn a maximum of four credits for any year. The amount needed for a credit in 2016 is $1,260. The amount needed to earn one credit increases automatically each year when average wages increase.
      Work Credits are the “building blocks” we use to find out whether an individual has the minimum amount of covered work to qualify for each type of Social Security benefits. We can’t provide your actual benefit amount until you apply for benefits, but we hope this information helps.

  54. If I retire on my pension at age 57, but don’t collect social security until age 67, is there a calculator for this scenario? How would I estimate my benefit? The calculator on SSA website assumes I will work until age 67.

    • Hi Shelley, our Retirement Estimator is exactly the calculator you are looking for! It gives you future estimates of your monthly Social Security benefits based on your actual Social Security earnings record.
      In addition, we have a variety of other calculators to help you plan for the future. Which calculator you choose depends on what you want to do. We suggest that you create a my Social Security account. With your personal my Social Security account, you can verify your earnings, get your Social Security Statement, and much more. Happy planning!

      • The retirement estimator linked above doesn’t answer the question. It assumes that one keeps working until the date at which SSA benefits start. Is there a calculator for “I stop working and earning money at age 67 but defer collecting benefits until age 70”?

  55. I am 66 years old the 10th of April this year, not receiving SS income, and my part-time earned income will be $8,000.00 per year for the next several years. If I start collecting SS next year, my SS income is estimated to be $26,796/year. My wife is 57 years old (still working and not receiving social security and does not plan on filing for SS until she is 62). She earns $80,000.00 per year – my question is: how does my wife’s income affect the tax on my SS income if we file separately or if we file jointly?

  56. I am currently 60, my wife is 56 and she is currently unemployed, but eligible to receive SS at her retirement age. I plan on retiring at 65. How does my retiring at that age effect my benefit, what portion of my benefit is my wife eligible for at age 62?

    • Hi Robert, if a person starts receiving retirement benefits at age 62 or any time prior to their full retirement age, their benefit amount is reduced.
      Visit our Retirement Planner: Benefits By Year Of Birth and find out how much your benefit will be reduced if you retire between age 62 and full retirement age. To learn more about your wife’s benefits, visit our Frequently Asked Questions web page. We provide a variety of benefit-calculators to help you plan for the future. Also, you and your wife can create a my Social Security account to verify your earnings, get your Social Security Statement, and much more. We hope this information helps!

      • I’m curious … I am 66 yrs old and signed up for SS at 62 .. however, as I remained working and was making over $41,000 a year I never collected anything .. maybe $500 at the end of a couple of years … that ‘s all … did what I DID NOT COLLECT go back into my account and should the amount that I would have collected at 62 go up any at all since I actually never collected any of it? Sorry is that confusing?

        • Good question Diana. For individuals receiving Social Security benefits while continuing to work, we will recalculate their benefit amount the year they attain their full retirement age (currently age 66), to give them credit for any months in which they did not receive any Social Security benefits due to their earnings. Generally, we will send a letter explaining any increase in your benefit amount. If you continue to work, remember that starting with the month you reach full retirement age, there is no limit on how much you can earn and still receive your Social Security benefits. Please call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. or contact your local office directly for further assistance.

  57. I noticed that my two years of my earnings on my ss year by year earnings chart , that is used for calculating benefit amounts, we’re not included or showed zero for those two years. I don’t believe I filed taxes for those two years and have somehow gotten by after some 20 years. However, for those two years I referred to, I made the most each year of all years of income ever!
    My question is, if I bring this omission of the two years income up to the social security admin. , and i, in fact, had failed to file taxes for those two years, will I have sparked a RED FLAG to my failure to file taxes for those years and be held accountable to penalties and interests for any potential taxes owed for those two blank years??
    Don’t want to wake the sleeping giant if it has been overlooked, right?
    Or would the fact that my income for those two years was three times any other year of my life working income? Would that fact be worth ( benefit amount) me bringing it to ss admin. Attention??!

    • Hi Mike, the amount of your Social Security benefit will depend on the amount of your average lifetime earnings. Generally, we use the highest years of earnings to calculate your monthly benefit amount. You will need to go into your local Social Security office to correct your earnings record. When you go, you will need to provide proper ID and evidence of your missing earnings, such as W-2s, pay stubs, etc. You can call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) to make an appointment. Representatives are available Monday through Friday between 7:00a.m. and 7:00p.m. Generally, you’ll have a shorter wait time if you call later in the week. For any income tax related questions, you will need to contact the IRS. Their toll-free number is 1-800-829-1040. We hope you get this matter resolved soon!

  58. I am eligible to draw social security. I am also eligible to draw from a retirement plan at my work. If I decide to draw my social security at 65, but continue working at the “non social security job”, can I make as much as want(since I am not paying into social security at this time).

  59. I am a disabled person and live on SSI and am not married. I had only earned around 10 points. my question is that is SSI the only benefit I am entitled to?

    • Current law requires that an individual earns 40 credits to qualify for Social Security benefits.
      Individuals receiving SSI benefits may also be eligible to receive social services from the state in which they live. These services include Medicaid, free meals, housekeeping help, transportation or help with other problems. You can get information about services in your area from your state or local social services or welfare office. Or you can visit the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) web page for more information. We hope this information helps!

  60. I am trying to decide to retire at the age of 64. I viewed my SS page which let’s say this as an example:

    Age 63: 1229.00 per month
    Age 66: 1447.00 per month

    However, when I went to estimated calculator it gives a different amount of 200.00 on the 63 yoa retirement..for example.

    K

    • Thanks for your question, Krissi. There are a lot of factors that go into deciding when to retire. You can delay your retirement and receive Delayed Retirement Credits to increase your benefit. But, you can retire at any time after you reach age 62 – depending on your situation. Visit our Retirement Planning page to estimate your retirement benefits and determine the best retirement age for you. In addition, we have a variety of other calculators to help you plan for the future. Which calculator you choose depends on what you want to do. We suggest that you create a my Social Security account. With your personal my Social Security account, you can verify your earnings, get your Social Security Statement, and much more. Happy planning!

  61. What happens if, in order to maximize SS benefits, one delays receipt of their social security benefit until age 70. Then, it is decided through “means-testing” that they don’t qualify for social security, because they have too much other income. Will they forfeit what they could have drawn up until the point that means-testing was implemented?

  62. I decide to keep working called social security three months ago but they keep sending the ssecurity check. What do I do? It was two months before I realized they were sending the checks. Do I owe these checks back?

    • Hi Nora. You can still work and receive your Social Security retirement benefits at the same time. However, if you are younger than full retirement age and make more than the yearly earnings limit, we will reduce your benefit. To learn more, visit our Frequently Asked Questions web page or read our publication “How Work Affects Your Benefits”. In the other hand, if you started receiving Social Security benefits less than 12 months ago and you changed your mind about when they should start, you may be able to withdraw your Social Security claim and re-apply at a future date. You must repay all the benefits you received. To learn more, visit our “Retirement Planner: Suspending Benefit Payments”. For further assistance, please call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. and talk with one of our representatives, or contact your local Social Security office directly.

  63. I’m about to turn 65 years old and Will be Receiving Social Security Well I’ll make up the difference between 65 and 66 when I turn 66 years old

  64. My full retirement is 66 (which I’ll reach in 5 months). My benefit at age 66 is $2657. If I continue working until age 68 and don’t begin receiving benefits while still earning about the same salary I earn now ($119,000), how much will my new benefit be at age 68?

  65. love this web. very nice, creative and interesting, so thanks for sharing and we look forward to posting more articles royal balon dan mandiri balon

  66. If my wife files for her own benefit at FRA and I wait until 70 to file for mine, can she switch to the spousal benefit without any reduction?

    • Thank you for your question Howard. Reduction factors are permanently applied to all of the benefits the person may qualify for, if they choose to begin receiving benefits at age 62 or prior to their full retirement age. The spouse’s benefit your wife can receive on your record cannot exceed one-half of your full retirement amount, if she applies at her full retirement age. The benefits for your spouse do not include any delayed retirement credits you may receive. However, she can earn delayed retirement credits automatically if she delays getting benefits on her own record up until age 70. Please visit our Retirement Planner: Benefits For Your Spouse for more information.

  67. Turning 66 tomorrow. The way I understand it is if I want until age 67, i would receive 8% more. So (considering that I could have applied 3 months prior to my birthday), would receive 3/12 of 8% (or 2%) more if I apply for SS tomorrow. What I am really asking is when the numbers in your table increase month by month or do they suddenly jump every year.

    • Happy Birthday Mr. Schwartz! Social Security retirement benefits are increased by a certain percentage (depending on date of birth) if you delay your retirement beyond your full retirement age (currently age 66). To see the yearly or monthly rate increase based on your year of birth, visit our Retirement Planner: Delayed Retirement Credits. When you are ready, you can complete your application for retirement benefits online. We hope this information helps

    • Hi Glenda. When you use our Retirement Estimator you can get estimates based on your actual Social Security earnings. Or you can use our online calculator where you can test various scenarios and retirement ages to estimate your benefits. You can also create a my Social Security account to review estimates of your retirement, disability, and survivors benefits, your earnings record, and the estimated Social Security and Medicare taxes you’ve paid.

  68. I am planning on filing for SS on my 67th birthday. My wife began collecting at 63. I am eligible for a larger payment than she is because I had higher earnings. Will her monthly benefit increase when I file?

  69. If you retire at age 62 and take the discounted monthly rate. At age 66 (my fully retirement age), does your monthly increase to the fully retirement age? Or do you stay locked at the age 62 rate for the rest of your social security life.

    • Good question Cinthia. The reduction factors are permanently applied to all benefits an individual may qualify for once they opt to start benefits at age 62 or at any time prior to their full retirement age.

  70. Since you haven’t updated the Mac app for El Capitan (hopefully when you DO update, it won’t be outdated for the upcoming OS Sierra) and I haven’t installed the Windows version, I created an Excel worksheet using my top 35 years and your tiered calculation, coming within about 10 buck a month of what My Social Security estimates. Two things…it would be nice if we could download our earnings records in .csv, .xls and/or .xlsx, instead of .xml (which is absolutely USELESS to the average user) and, although it makes no difference with my top 35 years, why don’t my earning records show earnings for 1970? I turned 16 in April 1970 and worked the summer at McDonald’s, making nearly $1,000. One never forgets their first job and how much they made.

  71. question-I currently am 58 years old. If I stop working at age 60 or 62 and delay collecting social security until age 65, how will that effect the amount of social security I get. Does the amount change since I will not be putting into social security after age 60. what if I continue working until age 62 and stop and wait until I get to 65 to collect? I do have retirement from my job and a 401 that I can use in the meantime.

    • Hi Elizabeth, you may find our Early or Late Retirement Calculator helpful. For retirement benefits, we use the individual’s highest 35 years of earnings to compute monthly benefit amount. You can start receiving retirement benefits as early as age 62, but if you decide to get benefits before your full retirement age, they will be reduced. In the other hand, starting to receive benefits after normal retirement age may result in larger benefits. We have a variety of other benefit-calculators to help you plan for the future. Which calculator you choose depends on what you want to do. To help you plan for the future, you can use our Retirement Planner and create a my Social Security account to verify your earnings; get your Social Security Statement, and much more. Happy planning!

  72. My question concerns whether I’d receive a larger distribution if I begin to receive it on a later vs. earlier DAY within a given MONTH…For example, I’m already aware that the monthly distribution would be slightly larger if I began to receive SS payments in October rather than April of a given year for which I was eligible to receive benefits…but is there any advantage to begin taking distributions on the 30th or 31st day of a given month vs. the 1st day of the same month? Or would the distribution be the same in dollars and cents for ALL days within the same month? Thank you.

    • Hello Scalrtn. Social Security benefit amounts are not determined based on days of a month. In the case of early retirement, a benefit is reduced 5/9 of one percent for each month before your normal retirement age up to 36 months. Delayed retirement credits are given for each month you delay filing beyond your normal retirement age up to age 70. The annual delayed retirement credit percentage varies from 3% to 8% by year of birth but the increase is monthly. You can use the Early or Late Retirement Calculator to determine the benefit percentage.

  73. I will turn 67 on February 9, 2017 I want to start my benefits after that date. I am trying to figgure out do I put in the application in October or November of 2016 or does it make a difference? When should I, what date, should I file for my Social Security Benefits?

  74. My wife currently receives a Social Security benefits based on her own employment record. She filed at age 62. I’m going to file this month which will be my FRA. Will the SSA automatically increase her benefits based on spousal benefits or must she file again in order to get the higher amount? Thanks

  75. I retired August 2016 and also turned 65 this past July 2016. Since my full-time retirement is at age 66 and I don’t work anymore, if I choose to delay my social security monthly benefit until I turn 66 (at my full retirement age) in July 2017, will my monthly social security benefit be more then than it would be had I started collecting at 65?

    • Yes Pam, the longer you delay your application for retirement the higher the benefit amount you will receive. If a person files and starts receiving retirement benefits at age 62 or any time prior to their full retirement age, their benefit amount is reduced. In the other hand, you earn Delayed Retirement Credits when and if you delay getting your benefit up until age 70. To help you plan for the future, you can use our Retirement Planner and you can also create a my Social Security account to verify your earnings, get your Social Security Statement, and much more. Also, individuals who are age 65 or older and not ready to start their monthly cash benefits can use our online retirement application to sign up for Medicare ONLY and apply for their retirement benefits at a later date. We hope this information helps!

  76. My current take home pay is $1844 per month. I am 62 and will be 63 Nov 2016. My SS payment at 62 is just over $1600 and will be just over $1700 in Nov. As you can see, I am working for only $100 more a month. I am giving up all of my free time had I retired. I don’t see why I am working anymore. Your comment please. Thank you!

    • Hi John. Please bear in mind that the decision on when to apply for benefits is a personal one. We can only provide you with the information to help you make the best choice according to your own situation. You can still work and receive your Social Security retirement benefits at the same time. However, if you are younger than full retirement age and make more than the yearly earnings limit, we will reduce your benefit. For 2016 that limit is $15,720. This limit changes in the year you reach full retirement age. See “How Works Affects Your Benefits” for more information. To help you plan for the future, visit our Retirement Planner. If you have additional questions, please call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. and talk with one of our representatives. Thanks!

  77. My Aunt worked in the U.S. with a legitimate social security number for more than 20 years right before she was about to retire. Unfortunately, she had to return to her country and wait for her green card to be approved. She will now be returning to the U.S. with a green card and her social security number is still valid. At the age of 75, will she be able to get back pay for all the years she wasn’t able to apply?

    • Thank you for your question Noy. Individuals must officially file an application to receive Social Security benefits. For retirement benefits, we generally allow up to six months of retroactivity payments, only after the applicant has reached his or her full retirement age. Your aunt should contact her local Social Security office as soon as possible after her arrival to the United States. Or she can call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Your aunt can also contact the local U.S. embassy or consulate for any assistance related to Social Security programs and benefits. We hope this information helps!

  78. I am retiring in 2017 at age 57 1/2, I have more than 40 max quarters, I plan on applying for SS at age 62 . Do I still have to contribute into SS until I am 62 to collect the max i will receive at age 62, or will there be a reduction in benefits? Thank You

Leave a Reply - (comment policy)

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *