Thursday, May 28th, 2009

If you were born before 1938, your “full retirement age” is 65. The full retirement age is 66 for people born in 1943-1954 and will gradually increase to 67 for people born in 1960 or later. You can start your Social Security retirement benefits as early as age 62, but the amount you receive each month will be less than if you wait until full retirement age. What does this mean? A U.S. citizen retiring today must be 65 years and four months to get full benefits. The oldest baby boomers, or those born in 1946, will get full benefits at age 66. The youngest, born in 1960 or after, must wait until age 67. More than half of workers start collecting Social Security benefits at 62 because the Social Security system encourages it. An American who retires at age 62 gets more in lifetime benefits, this is despite a 20% reduction in monthly benefits, because by getting more monthly payments you are paying lower taxes. If you are a United States citizen, you can travel or live in most foreign countries without affecting your eligibility for Social Security benefits.