Retirement Benefits Do Not Fill Financial Need

This may come as a shock to many people, but after a lifetime of working, Social Security retirement benefits do not provide enough for most people to live on, especially if they plan to continue their previous standard of living. In order to maintain their quality of life, they will need something to supplement the government retirement benefits they earned during their lifetime.

Although many people will also receive benefits from the place of employment, that plus Social Security retirement benefits still may not equal the income they were receiving while they were working. Additionally, there may be some income received by retired workers that will affect the amount of retirement benefits they are entitled to receive. At any time during a person’s working life, they can contact the Social Security Administration for an update on the benefits they would be eligible to receive upon retirement.

The age at which a person chooses to retire will affect the amount they receive in benefits and the full retirement age, according to SSA is based on the year of birth.

Benefits Reduced By Early Retirement

Laws governing SSA retirement benefits recently changed, and could change again in the future, but currently with an age of 66 considered as full retirement age, if a person has earned enough credits, they can retire at the age of 62 with a 25 percent reduction in SSA benefits. At age 63 they would receive a 20 percent reduction of the full amount and at 64, a 13 and one-third percent cut and at age 65, their benefit would be reduced by six and two-thirds percent.

The amount received in Social Security retirement benefits will be determined by the amount a person has earned over their lifetime. A person who continues to work past their retirement age may see an increase in their benefits. SSA will annually review a person’s work record each year and notify them if there will be any change in their benefits.

Persons who opt to retire before reaching full retirement age will be restricted to the amount of income they can earn before losing some of the Social Security retirement benefits to which they were qualified at the time of taking early retirement. The maximum amount a person can earn each year without losing benefits is currently $12,960 and the benefits will be reduced by $1 for each $2 earned over that limit.

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