Updated: May 24
Did you know that the federal government established Social Security in 1935 during the Great Depression to alleviate poverty among the elderly? They created it as a self-financing program to collect payroll taxes from workers and then immediately pay out to retirees.
You become eligible for Social Security by working in a Social Security-covered job for at least ten years and earning a total of 40 credits. You can earn up to four credits a year based on your total salary. As long as you earn four credits a year for ten years, you will accumulate the 40 credits necessary for eligibility.
Social Security can provide steady income during your lifetime in retirement. In fact, the first recipient of recurring monthly Social Security benefits, Ida Mae Fuller, started receiving checks in 1940 at age 65 and continued to do so until her death at 100. Today, you can start early eligibility at age 62, where you would receive reduced benefits of 70-75%. If you wait until your full retirement age (FRA), you will receive your full, unreduced amount. Full retirement age varies based on your birth year. For instance, if you were born in 1960 or later, your FRA is 67.
If you delay benefits until after age 70, you will receive the highest benefit amount. Thus, is it better to claim at 62 or 70? It all depends on your situation and the factors that play into it. Some things that may affect your benefits include:
Continuing to work
We know Social Security has a lot of pieces to it, so we want to help you figure them out as much as we can. Join us May 12 at 5:30 PM for our Social Security Seminar at the Courtyard by Marriott-Hagerstown or online via Zoom. Our private wealth managers will discuss in more detail reasons to apply early, at your full retirement age or afterwards. If you missed our recent webinar, check out the recording here from one we did recently for BCT Investments:
You can also learn more by visiting the Social Security website at www.socialsecurity.gov.