When Should I Start Receiving Social Security?
For Maryland seniors, age affects benefitsBy Doug Mentes, Esq. | Last updated on January 19, 2023
Use these links to jump to different sections:
- What Is Full Retirement Age?
- Early Retirement
- Delayed Retirement
- How Are Social Security Retirement Benefits Calculated?
- early retirement at age 62
- full retirement at age 66 or 67
- delayed retirement up until age 70
- Current health of the retiree and average life expectancy
- Retiree’s family health history
- Personal finances of the retiree
- Marriage status of retiree
What Is Full Retirement Age?Seniors will receive their full benefit amount if they retire and apply for social security at their full retirement age. Under the current law, full retirement age for anyone born in 1960 or later is 67 years old. For those born before 1960, the full retirement age occurs sometime during their 66th year.
Early RetirementSeniors can begin receiving social security retirement benefits as early as age 62. However, for someone turning 62 in 2018, their benefit will be reduced 26.7 percent from the full retirement age benefit. However, the amount of the reduction decreases each month the senior gets closer to full retirement age.
Delayed RetirementSeniors can also choose to work beyond their full retirement age, and take a reduced benefit. If retirement is delayed until age 70, the retiree can expect an increase of approximately 30 percent of their full retirement monthly benefit amount. For example, if your full retirement benefit amount is $1,000, taken at age 66 or 67, an early or delayed benefit amount will be:
- $733 monthly payment amount if taken at age 62
- $1,300 monthly benefit amount if taken at age 70
How Are Social Security Retirement Benefits Calculated?Once someone has worked for ten or more years, that person has gained eligibility for social security retirement benefits. The monthly benefit of social security income a senior will receive once retired is based on their lifetime earnings and work records; the higher the earnings, the higher the benefit amount. To calculate their benefit, the SSA looks at the retiree’s 35 highest earning years and uses a formula to arrive at a monthly benefit amount. Seniors should use the SSA retirement estimator to calculate their estimated benefit well in advance of retirement to get an understanding of how many sources of retirement income they will receive and consult with a financial planner. The SSA cautions that social security retirement is only one part of a proper retirement plan, which should also include other sources of income from pensions or retirement accounts, savings and, potentially, part-time employment. Seniors nearing retirement should contact an experienced Maryland elder law attorney to determine the best time to apply for social security retirement. For more information on this area, see our overview of elder law and estate planning.
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