What is my Full Retirement Age?
To begin planning your Social Security withdrawal strategy you will need to know your Full Retirement Age (FRA). “Full retirement age” used to be 65 for everyone; however, it now varies based upon what year you were born.
If you were born after 1951, you’ll be eligible to receive your full benefit somewhere between the ages of 65 and 67. Use the chart below to check when you become eligible to receive 100% of your benefit.
|Year of Birth||Full |
|A $1000 |
|A $500 |
|1955||66 and 2 months||50||$741||25.83%||$345||30.83%|
|1956||66 and 4 months||52||$733||26.67%||$341||31.67%|
|1957||66 and 6 months||54||$725||27.50%||$337||32.50%|
|1958||66 and 8 months||56||$716||28.33%||$333||33.33%|
|1959||66 and 10 months||58||$708||29.17%||$329||34.17%|
|1960 and later||67||60||$700||30.00%||$325||35.00%|
You are rewarded with a higher benefit should you delay beyond your full retirement age. Your income amount will increase by 8% annually up to the age of 70. Once you have attained age 70 there is no longer reason to delay as your benefit is as high as it will ever be.
If you are working beyond the normal retirement age it may be a wise decision to defer taking your benefits. In addition, if you have other assets you can use to bridge the gap between full retirement age and 70, it may be worth considering delaying to age 70 in that scenario as well.
Each additional year deferred up to age 70 your benefits increase by 8%. Consider the same scenario above, you are age 66 but defer until age 68. In this instance, your benefit at age 68 would be 16% greater than it was at 66.
How Much Does a Divorced Spouse Receive?
If you have not applied for retirement benefits, but can qualify for them, your ex-spouse can receive benefits on your record if you have been divorced for at least two continuous years.
If your ex-spouse is eligible for retirement benefits on their own record, we will pay that amount first. If the benefit on your record is higher, they will get an additional amount on your record so that the combination of benefits equals that higher amount.
Where Can I access my Social Security Statement?
- The Social Security Administration no longer mails out annual Social Security Statements. However, you can quickly and easily get a copy of your statement on their website: SSA.gov login. The statement will list your projected benefit at ages 62, 66, and 70.
You can read our Beginners Guide to Income Annuities to learn how an annuity can create a guaranteed level of lifetime income.
How Much Will My Social Security Benefit Be?
- For a quick estimate of your social security benefits, they also provide a Quick Social Security Calculator. If you do not feel like the age in which delaying payments turns to your favor is realistic then electing to receive your social security benefits early may make the most sense for you.
Who can Receive Divorced Spouse Social Security Benefits?
If you are divorced, your ex-spouse can receive benefits based on your record (even if you have remarried) if:
- Your marriage lasted 10 years or longer.
- Your ex-spouse is unmarried.
- Your ex-spouse is age 62 or older.
- The benefit that your ex-spouse is entitled to receive based on their own work is less than the benefit they would receive based on your work.
- You are entitled to Social Security retirement or disability benefits.
What is Social Security Spousal Benefits?
- Social Security Spousal Benefits is the benefit you can collect based on your spouse’s primary insurance amount at full retirement age. The benefit can be up to 50% of your spouse’s Primary Insurance Amount (PIA) and cannot go into effect until your spouse files for their own benefit, or until your spouse is at Full Retirement Age (FRA) or older, and filed and suspended prior to April 30, 2016.
How Do I Apply for My Social Security Benefits?
You can apply online by using our Social Security Retirement/Medicare Benefit Application to apply for retirement, spouse’s, divorced spouses, or Medicare benefits.
If you and your spouse apply online for retirement benefits at the same time, or if your spouse applies online after you start receiving benefits, we will check their eligibility for benefits as a spouse. If they are qualified, the online application will automatically include a request for spousal benefits on your record.
If your spouse applies for benefits, they need to be ready to supply the information we need to approve their application for these benefits: