You are eligible for benefits if you’ve worked a minimum of 10 years in positions covered by Social Security. Benefits are based on two main variables: earning in the 35 highest-paid years of your career and the age in which you begin receiving your benefits.
Those 35 years do not have to be consecutive, and if you work past age 65, those earning years, even part-time, will be included if part of your highest 35 years.
You can begin claiming benefits at 62, BUT there is NO benefit to waiting past 70.
Claiming before full retirement age locks in a permanent reduction in monthly income. If you delay claims until reaching full retirement age you’ll be rewarded with benefits that boost your payout by 8% a year up to age 70.
Claiming Social Security at 62 is beneficial if you have health issues and a shortened life expectancy. But, remember locking in is an irrevocable decision.
If you are healthy and come from a family of octogenarians, then you may benefit by delaying your claims.
If married, you and your spouse can claim at different dates and may be eligible for spousal benefits. If one spouse dies, the survivor is allowed to claim the higher monthly benefit for the rest of his or her life.
The key is developing a plan and remembering to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
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