When you retire is a very personal decision, and one that you and your spouse–if you have one–will need to discuss in detail together. In addition to the emotional, physical, and psychological elements of remaining at a job or choosing to retire, there are also a number of financial considerations, too. One such consideration is when you will start claiming retirement benefits, and how the age at which you begin claiming will affect your benefit amount.
Many people wonder if there is a legal age at which they can stop working and go into retirement. The answer is that while there is no law telling you when you must retire, there is a law regarding when you can start claiming your retirement benefits.
If you have earned at least 40 work credits from the Social Security Administration during your working years, you can begin claiming your Social Security retirement benefits as early as age 62. However, you cannot start claiming your full benefit amount–that is, 100 percent of the retirement benefit check you have earned and are entitled to–until you reach your full retirement age.
Again, your full retirement age is not your legal retirement age (which doesn’t really exist), although the two terms are often confused. Your full retirement age is the age at which the Social Security Administration has determined you will receive your full benefit amount if you wait until reaching your full retirement age to claim. This means that if you start claiming your benefit amount early, the benefit will be reduced, and will not increase once you reach full retirement age. Your full retirement age depends on the year that you were born. For most people, it is between 66 and 67 years old.
One of the neat things about the way that Social Security retirement benefits are designed is that if you wait past your full retirement age to claim benefits, your benefit amount will increase for each year that you wait. For example, if your full retirement age is 66, but you wait until age 70 to start claiming your benefits, then your Social Security retirement benefit check will be much greater at age 70 then it would have been at age 66, and certainly than it would have been if you started claiming at age 62. If you have the financial means, you can retire earlier than this, but then wait as long as possible–up to age 70–to claim your Social Security benefits in Winfield.
When to retire and when to start claiming your Social Security retirement benefits is a big decision, and one that is influenced by many factors. If you have more questions about the retirement age and when you should start claiming benefits, our team at Harvest Social Security QA cares about providing you with the answers that you are looking for. When you sign up for one of our Social Security workshops near Winfield, you can receive valuable information regarding everything you need to know about Social Security and maximizing your benefit amount. Learn more through our website today.
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