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Thinking Of Retiring? Consider Your Options.


What You Need to Consider

As you approach the age when you can receive Social Security retirement benefits, you have options to consider and decisions to make. Before making your retirement decision, we hope you will consider all the options.

   There are important questions you need to ask yourself. At what age do you want to begin receiving benefits? Do you want to stop working and receive benefits? Do you want to work and receive benefits at the same time? Or do you want to work beyond your full retirement age and delay receiving benefits?

   When you continue working beyond full retirement age, your benefit may increase because of your additional earnings. If you

delay receiving benefits, your benefit will increase because of the special credits you will receive for delaying your retirement. This increased benefit could be important to you later in your life. It also could increase the future benefit amounts your family and survivors could receive.

   Each person’s retirement situation is different. It depends on circumstances such as health, financial needs and obligations, family responsibilities, amount of income from work and other sources. It also may depend on the amount of your Social Security benefit.

   We hope the following information will help you make your retirement decision.

About The Options

Year of Birth*

Full Retirement Age

1937 (or earlier)



65 and 2 months


65 and 4 months


65 and 6 months


65 and 8 months


65 and 10 months




66 and 2 months


66 and 4 months


66 and 6 months


66 and 8 months


66 and 10 months

1960 (or later)


*Refer to the previous year if you were born on January 1.

Retiring Early—If you’ve earned 40 credits, you can start receiving Social Security benefits at 62 or at any month between 62 and full retirement age. However, your benefits will be permanently reduced based on the number of months you receive benefits before you reach full retirement age.

  If your full retirement age is 66, they will be reduced:

25 percent at age 62;
20 percent at age 63;
13 ¹⁄ ³ percent at age 64; or
6 ²⁄ ³ percent at age 65.

Receiving Retirement Benefits While You Work —You can work while receiving monthly benefits. And it could mean a higher benefit that can be important to you later in your life and increase the future benefits your family and survivors could receive.

We’ll review your record each year to see whether the additional earnings will increase your monthly benefit. If there’s an increase, we’ll send you a notice of your new benefit amount. Earnings in or after the month you reach full retirement age won’t reduce your Social

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Last reviewed or modified Monday Jan 14, 2008
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