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Social Security Retirement Age

May 30, 2006 (WA). Most beneficiaries fall into the false sense of security that when they reach the age of 65, they would obtain full benefits under Social Security. Most workers are not aware that they would not qualify for full Social Security benefits despite reaching said age.

      If the employee was born in 1937 or earlier, he or she is qualified for full Social Security benefits at age 65. On the other hand, those born after 1937, or those who turn 69 or less this year, cannot collect full benefits at 65. The required age for full benefits gradually increases for those born from 1938 through 1942. Hence, for someone born in 1940, he or she becomes eligible upon reaching 65 years and 6 months. If born between 1943 and 1954, full benefits can be claimed at age 66. As the rules presently stand, an employee born in 1960 or later, will be eligible for full Social Security at age 67.

      However, if a worker does not want to wait until his or her designated age to begin collecting Social Security, they can start at age 62 regardless of their birth year. The downside is that if you cash in before your full retirement age, the benefits are reduced. The advantage of retiring early is that they collect benefits for a longer period of time. The disadvantage meanwhile is that monthly benefits are permanently reduced.

      Consequently, Social Security benefits can be increased by waiting longer before collecting them, up to 70 years of age. The yearly rate of increase is dependent on the year a beneficiary was born. For people born from 1937 through 1942, the rate gradually increases from 6.5 percent to 7.5 percent for each year of delayed taking of benefits. If born in 1943 or later, Social Security check will grow by 8 percent for each year of said delay.

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