When Do I Become Eligible for Social Security?
When you are planning for retirement, you need to know the facts about Social Security. The obvious
first question is going to involve the age at which you may submit your application.
The answer is that you have a few different options. If you are willing to accept a reduced benefit
because you want to start receiving payouts early, you can start receiving your benefit when you are 62.
You can submit your application four months before you reach this age.
People who choose the above option will receive payments longer, but they will not be as high so you
have to make an intelligent evaluation.
The next option would be to wait until you reach the full retirement age as it is defined by the Social
Security Administration. If you were born in 1960 or after, this age is 67. If you were born between
1943 and 1954 it is 66.
If you were born between 1955 and 1959, things are a bit trickier.
The full retirement age goes up by two months per year after 1954. So someone born in 1955 can start
receiving a full retirement benefit when he or she reaches the age of 66 years and two months. In 1956,
it is 66 years and four months; in 1957, the full retirement age is 66 years and six months, and so on
until 1960 when the ceiling is reached at 67.
You could also choose to delay your application beyond your full retirement age. By doing this you
accrue delayed retirement credits. These credits will result in a larger benefit when you do in fact begin
to receive Social Security payouts.
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