The Elder and Disability Law Firm, APC May 24, 2013

When you are planning for retirement you may want to set a target date to shoot for so that you have a destination firmly in sight as you traverse your life's path. While it is not wise to be overly reliant on Social Security because of the limitations of the program, a lot of people will plan their retirement dates based on their age of Social Security eligibility. It is important to recognize the fact that there is no one age at which everyone becomes eligible for this program.

Your age of eligibility for your full Social Security benefit will depend on the year during which you were born. For people born between the years 1943 and 1954 full retirement age is 66. It then rises by two months per year. So, if you were born in 1955 you become eligible for your full Social Security benefit when you are 66 years and two months old. It goes up in this manner until 1960. People who were born during this year and after become eligible to receive their full benefit when they become 67 years of age.

It should be noted that you do not have to wait until you reach full retirement age to apply for Social Security. You can apply when you are as young as 62, but if you do so you will receive a reduced benefit. On the other side of the spectrum, you can work beyond your full retirement age up until the age of 70 and receive delayed retirement credits as a result. These credits will increase your benefit by 8% per year that you worked beyond your full retirement age.

The above statistics are accurate as of this writing but nothing is etched in stone. There is talk of cost-cutting in an effort to reduce the federal debt and raising the Social Security retirement age is something that has been mentioned.

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