Considering retirement? Wondering what your options are and when? Here are some quick facts about what to consider when looking at Social Security.

  • Everyone who has worked 40 credits in American is eligible for Social Security. A credit is a quarter of one year and liable to an income minimum for that time period.
  • You are first eligible to collect Social Security at the age of 62. The longer you wait to file, the more money per month your social security benefit will be. Check on SSA.gov for your personalized chart with your own estimated benefit amounts.
  • Once you elect to begin your social security benefits, known as filing, you have only one year to change your mind. If you decide to turn off the benefits and wait (because you decide you want to collect a higher benefit by waiting and you have buyer’s remorse for filing in the first place), you will need to pay back any of the benefits you received up until that point.
  • Choosing the right time to file is important to maximize the benefit. Maybe filing early is right for you or then again maybe not. Our clients discuss different strategies for retirement that often include the timing of social security benefits with pensions, Individual retirement accounts, and savings.

Age for full retirement benefit for retired workers

Year of BirthFull Retirement Age (FRA)
1937 and earlier65
193865 & 2 months
193965 & 4 months
194065 & 6 months
194165 & 8 months
194265 & 10 months
195566 & 2 months
195666 & 4 months
195766 & 6 months
195866 & 8 months
195966 & 10 months
1960 and later67
Maximum monthly Social Security benefit: $2,639 for workers retiring at FRA in 2016
NOTE: Higher benefits are possible for those who work or delay benefit receipt after reaching FRA.

Please go to ssa.gov to create an account and find your most recent social security statement.

Graphic taken from: https://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/chartbooks/fast_facts/2016/fast_facts16.html#pagei