Whether you are close to retiring or just turned 50, you should check your Social Security earnings record each year to make sure it doesn’t contain errors. That’s because even one error, if not corrected, can have a real impact on your retirement benefits. Create a My Social Security account at www.ssa.gov/myaccount. Once you have an account, you can check your earnings record any time. It is important to note that Social Security benefits are not intended to be your only source of income when you retire. On average, Social Security will replace about 40 percent of your annual pre-retirement earnings. You will need other savings, investments, pensions, or retirement accounts to make sure you have enough money to live comfortably when you retire. 12–5. RETIREMENT BENEFITS. To qualify for retirement benefits you must be at least 62 years old and be fully insured. If you are a retired worker who qualifies for benefits, monthly payments can also be paid to: a. Your spouse who is age 62 or over; b . Your spouse, regardless of age, if that spouse is caring for a child who is entitled to benefits and the child is either under the age of 16 or is disabled; c. Your divorced spouse who is age 62 or over, if you were married for at least ten years; d. Children under the age of 18; e. Children ages 18–19 if they are a full time high school student; and, f. Children over age 18, if they are disabled. Full Benefits. The age that you become eligible for full retirement benefits depends on your birth year. As the table above right shows, this age is being gradually increased from 65 to 67. You also have the option of delaying the receipt of Social Security retirement benefits for any period beyond the full retirement age up to the age of seventy. For individuals born
Age To Receive Full Social Security Benefits Year of Birth Full Retirement Age 1937 or earlier 65 1938 65 plus 2 months 1939 65 plus 4 months 1940 65 plus 6 months 1941 65 plus 8 months 1942 65 plus 10 months 1943-1954 66 1955 66 plus 2 months 1956 66 plus 4 months 1957 66 plus 6 months 1958 66 plus 8 months 1959 66 plus 10 months 1960 and later 67
The above extensions of age to qualify for full retirement do not alter provisions allowing early retirement at age 62.
in 1943 or later, your entitlement increases by 8% each year you delay. For example, if a person born in 1947 delayed the receipt of their Social Security retirement benefit until they were 70, they would increase their benefit by 32%. Generally there is no reduction of Social Security benefits because of your military retirement benefits. Family Benefits. Your spouse and children are generally eligible for benefits equal to one–half of your entitlement. However, there are limits on the amount that will be paid to a family. If these limits are exceeded, your spouse and children’s benefits are reduced before your benefits are affected.
CHAPTER 12: SOCIAL SECURITY & MEDICARE
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