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Your Social Security
By Terry J. Rigg, Fri Dec 9th

It seems like everyone I talked to has a different opinion onwhen they would be eligible for Social Security. Some youngerfolks said that they couldn't retire until they were at least70. A lot of older folks believe that they can't start drawingtheir Social Security until they reach 65. They are allpartially right.

I'm not going to get into whether or not Social Security willsurvive the next few years. There are too many factors thatcould save it or destroy it, and most of them live inWashington, DC. I am simply going to give you the current statusof your Social Security eligibility.

It is true that there are different full retirement agesdepending on when you were born. However, each person payinginto Social Security can start drawing their partial retirementat age 62. The chart below indicates at what age you can retireand receive your full benefits.

Year of Birth

Note: Persons born on January 1 of any year should refer to theprevious year.

Full retirement Age

1937 or earlier - 65

1938 - 65 and 2 months

1939 - 65 and 4 months

1940 - 65 and 6 months

1941 - 65 and 8 months

1942 - 65 and 10 months

1943--1954 - 66

1955 - 66 and 2 months

1956 - 66 and 4 months


66 and 6 months

1958 - 66 and 8 months

1959 = 66 and 10 months

1960 and later - 67

Visit to see the completechart of Social Security Full retirement and Reductions by Age

By the chart above someone born in 1955 can start receiving thefull benefits at age 66 years and 2 months. If they choose toretire between age 62 and 66 years and 2 months


this benefitwill be reduced based on the number of months they retire early.If they chose to retire after age 66 years and 2 months thebenefit will increase.

Each person has to decide at what age they want to startreceiving their Social Security based on their individualcircumstances. Here is something to consider: Based on my ownsituation, if I wait until I am 66 years old to draw my fullSocial Security I will be about 72 years old before I draw asmuch money as I would have if I had started drawing my partialSocial Security at age 62. It's something to think about.

Besides retirement benefits, Social Security also coversdisability and death benefits. This is a fairly complicatedprogram but it might not hurt to learn as much as you can byvisiting the Social Security web site. You can also request aSocial Security Statement which includes a record of yourearnings history and an estimate of how much you and youremployer paid in Social Security taxes Estimates of benefits you(and your family) may be eligible for now and in the future.

Social Security was never intended to be your only source ofincome after you retire. In most cases your monthly check willonly be a fraction of what you were earning before retirement.It would be wise to start a savings and investment program assoon as possible to ensure that you have enough money whenretirement rolls around.


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This page was updated on Nov 2009 and is Copyright © 2003 by Global Com Consulting Inc.