Bob Brinker's Marketimer

  Wednesday December 12, 2018

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If you were born before 1938, full retirement benefits are available at age 65, with reduced benefits available as early as age 62. The age at which full benefits are paid will rise in the future. In 2003, the full retirement age went up to 67 for those born after 1960.

The age at which you can retire and receive full benefits is known as your full retirement age. If you choose to retire before your full retirement age, your benefits will be reduced (currently 5/9 of 1 percent for every month under age 65). The closer you are to age 65 when benefits start, the smaller the reduction. If you retire later than full retirement age, you will get added benefits because of additional earnings and special credits.

If you are past retirement age and wish to continue working, you can do so, but there are limits as to how much you can earn without losing some of your Social Security benefits. These limits change each year. These limits do not apply after you reach age 65.

When you die, if you were eligible for either retirement or disability benefits, family members may also be able to receive benefits. Your spouse can receive up to 50 percent of your benefit amount, and your children can receive up to 75 percent of your amount.

Those who may be able to receive a benefit upon your death include the following:

  • A spouse over the age of 60 (50 if disabled or any age if taking care of children under age 16)

  • Unmarried children under 18, children in school under age 19, and disabled children 22 or younger

To get your benefits, you will need to supply proof of eligibility, such as a birth certificate and most recent W-2 form.

Now let's take a look at the building blocks of Social Security benefits.


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