Social Security Retirement Age

Social Security Retirement Age for "full" retirement benefits varies according to the year of your birth.

The benefits schedule phases in later dates starting with birth years of 1937 up until 1960. After the year of 1960 full retirement age is 67.

The chart below shows the various categories under the current law.

Keep in mind that these numbers can be changed by the US Government at any time.

These are the values as of August 2014.

Source: www.socialsecurity.gov


What Is Your Social Security Retirement Age?

chart of retirement ages

If you want to retire earlier than full retirement age, you can do so as early as age 62, but your benefits will be reduced by some percentage for each year earlier than full retirement age.

See the chart above or visit the Social Security website

Should You Claim Social Security Later for a Higher Benefit Amount?

You can delay retirement until age 70 to get higher benefits. Once you reach age 70 there is no further increase in your benefit amount by delaying your claim.

Go to the Social Security website to find out what your delayed extra benefit would be. (See the box on the right side of the SS page.)

Source: socialsecurity.gov

chart of delayed benefit amounts

Important Note: Regardless of what age you decide to claim your social security benefits, it is best to apply for Medicare within 3 months of your 65th birthday to avoid paying extra for your medical coverage.

There may be other factors to consider in making the decision about what your social security retirement age should be.

  • Your family history for life expectancy
  • Your health
  • Your financial situation
  • For ages earlier than 65, do you have health insurance?
  • Do you prefer to continue working?
  • Are there others who will file against your record?

Again, go to the Social Security website to learn more about how these situations factor into your decision.

For example, it is possible to begin collecting social security and then to suspend your benefits to increase your benefit amount later. This may also help in the situation where someone else can claim against your record, but you aren't ready to collect for yourself.

The Social Security Administration provides great information to assist with planning for benefits. Visit their website (socialsecurity.gov) for their benefit calculators and estimators for future benefits if you are not yet at retirement age.


Special Note About the Annual Social Security Statement

Due to the economic conditions, the annual statement on Social Security benefits has been suspended. Now it is necessary to request the statement instead of receiving it automatically each year.

Visit this link to request your statement if it has been more than a year since you received one.