If you want to receive Social Security benefits before your full retirement age, you may take early retirement. You may begin receiving benefits as early as age 62.
In 2009, 73 percent of people filing for Social Security took early retirement, generally, for one purpose.
Your full retirement age depends on when you were born, according to www.socialsecurity.gov. If you were born, 1943-1954, your full retirement age is 66, and increases 2 months each year until 1960. If you were born after 1960, your full retirement age is 67.
The amount of your monthly benefit depends on the number of quarters you contributed to Social Security, while you were working. Then the Government adjusts the amount of your Social Security benefit, based on your life expectancy at the age you retire. The earlier you retire the longer you receive benefits; so, when you take early retirement your monthly check could be as much as 25 percent less than if you waited until full retirement age. Conversely, if you wait until full retirement age your check could be as much as 25 percent larger, but you won’t receive the benefit for as many years.
Assuming you live to your life expectancy, the amount of money you receive with early retirement equals the amount you’d receive getting a larger check, for less years
Need the Money
People usually take the early retirement benefit, because they need the money. Maybe they’ve been laid off, and can’t find another job because of their age, or they may have health problems. Possibly, they don’t want to start dipping into their pension, or savings plans.
Social Security checks are constant, and for this generation of retirees, anyway, dependable. You receive the check by direct deposit the same day each month, depending on your birth date. If your birth date is the 1st-10th you’ll receive your check on the second Wednesday, the 11th-20th the third Wednesday, and 21st-31st the fourth Wednesday.
Your check is always the same amount, and generally not taxable. In addition, you can receive the check by direct deposit.
If you’re financial situation changes, you can cancel your early Social Security retirement benefit.
If you make too much money, you’re Social Security benefit is taxable. If you’re single, and make over $25,000 in a year, or married, and you and your spouse make over $32,000, you’ll pay taxes on your Social Security benefit.
The economy is not good, businesses are not hiring, and your age may be a liability when you find a job opening. If you’re feeling a financial crunch, think about taking early retirement. If you have doubts, talk to your accountant.
Social Security: What You Need to Know When You Get Retirement or Survivors Benefits: www.socialsecurity.gov