RETIREMENT with Social Security

If you have not already done so, go to www.ssa.gov and create a mySocialSecurity online account.  Here you can learn more about your benefits based on your facts and circumstances.

Social Security Retirement Benefits:

Who is eligible?

  • Worked and paid Social Security Taxes to earn 40 credits
  • Reached a minimum age of 62 for early retirement (full retirement based on year of birth)
    • Exceptions: qualify for disability, qualify as widow/widower at age 60 (50 if disabled), or children up to age 18 or 19 if not graduated from high school
    • Spouses who have never worked may qualify if at least age 62 and spouse is receiving retirement or disability benefits.

How much will I receive?

  • Based on a percentage of your average monthly wage using a 35-years base of earnings.
  • Maximum benefit payable is $2,687 (full retirement age in 2017), $2,153 (age 62 in 2017), and $3,538 (age 70 in 2017).
  • Monthly Benefit is Reduced by a percentage (%) based on early retirement year. If you retire at the age of 62, your full retirement benefits are reduced approximately 30%.
  • Your own Eligible amount or if less than the spousal benefit, yours is increased by ½ of eligible spousal benefit to bring own eligible up to the ½ eligible spousal benefit. In other words, if you are due two benefits, you get the greater amount, not both portions
  • Maximum family benefit of 150-180% of worker’s full retirement benefit.
  • NOTE: Additional rules available for Government workers that have non SSA Pension are available

Will my benefits be reduced if I continue to work while drawing my SSA Benefits?  Yes, if below full retirement age by $1 for every $3 earned over annual average.

Medicare Benefits:

Who can get Medicare?

  • Age 65 or older, citizen or permanent resident
  • Younger if with certain disabilities

When should I enroll?

  • If already receiving Social Security benefits or Railroad Retirement, you will automatically receive information a few months before age 65
  • Otherwise, 3 months before your 65th birthday even if you don’t plan on retiring at age 65.

What are my premiums?

  • Part A: hospital coverage is free if eligible for Social Security
  • Part B: outpatient medical coverage: based on how much you and your spouse earned together (prior tax return on file with IRS)
  • Part D: Prescription drug coverage: based on how much you and your spouse earned together (prior tax return on file with IRS)
  • Note: Medicare is an individual plan (there are no family plans).

(Sources: Social Security Administration 2017 Publications available at www.ssa.gov and www.medicare.gov)

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