What are the types of Social Security Benefits
As many people have seen and heard on the news, the full or "normal" retirement age for a worker is steadily increasing. However, regardless of your full retirement age ("normal retirement age"), you may start receiving benefits as early as 62 or as late as age 70. The majority of questions people have regarding retirement benefits are regarding Early Retirement Benefits.
You can retire at any time between the age of 62 and your full retirement age. However, if you start benefits early, your benefits are deducted a fraction of a percent for each month before your full retirement age. Basically, if you retire early, the amount of Social Security benefits you receive will be roughly the same over your lifetime. The reduced monthly amount is calculated and accounts for you drawing over more months than if you had waited until your full retirement age.
When considering whether you should receive early retirement benefits, please consider:
- If you delay your benefits until after full retirement age, you may be eligible for delayed retirement credits that would increase your monthly benefit;
- Keep in mind that there are other things to consider when making the correct decision about your retirement benefits; and
- Contact Social Security before you decide when to retire.
Regardless of whether you decide to delay your retirement until after age 65, you should still apply for Medicare benefits within three months of your 65th birthday. If you wait longer, your Medicare medical insurance (Part B) and your prescription drug coverage (Part D) may cost you more money.
The social security website has a retirement benefit calculator that can assist you with making the decision as to when you should file for and begin receiving Social Security Retirement benefits. It will estimate the amount of monthly benefits you may be entitled to draw on a monthly basis. You can find the retirement benefit calculator here. This calculator can be used even if you are not yet retirement age or if you have not earned enough "credits" for retirement benefits.