Have you begun to think about early retirement? Maybe you are helping a parent or loved one plan their retirement and are unsure whether they have reached the eligibility period. One of the confusing aspects of collecting social security is the fact that there is not a universal age that you will become eligible to collect social security benefits. Additionally, you will need to decide if you want to collect partial benefits or if you want to wait longer in order to receive full social security benefits.
History of Social Security Benefits
The Social Security Act was signed into law by Franklin Roosevelt in 1935, according to the National Academy of Social Insurance. At that time, individuals could retire at the age of 65 and receive full social security benefits. President Regan enacted legislation to increase the age of retirement to 67. However, the exact age that one can collect social security benefits depends upon their birth.
Who is Eligible?
For individuals born in 1955, the full benefit age for social security is 66 years and 2 months. For those born in 1960 or later, the full benefit age is 67. For those who wish to retire at an earlier age, the very earliest you can collect social security benefits is 62. However, choosing to collect social security benefits at age 62 instead of 65 can reduce your monthly payments by up to 25%. Likewise, choosing a later retirement age than 67 can actually increase your payments by up to 32%. The social security administration website has a detailed chart that explains exactly how much of a reduction in benefits an early retirement will cost both the primary wage earner and their spouse.
How to Apply
Applications for social security benefits can be completed online. If you do not want to fill the application out online, you can visit your local social security office. You can also reach a local social security administration disability office by calling visiting https://disability.help.