Understanding your retirement benefits

Who doesn’t want to know when they can retire? For an ever-increasing number of people, the standard age is now 67 instead of 65. But reaching the golden years to collect your benefits is only the tip of the iceberg. How much will I receive and how do I even qualify? What happens if I retire early or if I work longer than average? These are frequent questions many ask, and the Social Security Administration has a downloadable PDF filled with valuable information about your retirement benefits.

Here’s a quick summary on some important facts in the document:

Retirement benefits qualification

Social Security benefits are achieved by earning “credits” through work and tax payment. For those born after 1929, you need 40 credits to qualify for retirement benefits, which is equivalent to 10 years of work. One important note: if you stop working, then resume your work later in your career, you do not lose your previous credits.

Retirement benefits determination

Your benefit payment is based on how much you have earned during your working career. Your benefits are directly proportional to your career earnings. The more you have worked, the more Social Security benefits you can earn.

Taking early retirement

Benefits can be drawn as early as age 62. However, the longer you wait to take retirement benefits and the longer you work, the higher your payment will be. According to the Social Security Administration, a person electing to take Social Security at 62 will receive about 25 percent less than when waiting to draw benefits at age 67.

Delaying retirement and its effect on benefits

Want to keep working beyond full retirement age? Your benefits will continue to increase as you continue to work, all the way up to age 70.

For more information and independent advice regarding retirement plans, assistance in sponsoring a plan or strategic ways to achieve retirement goals, visit us on the web at plexusgroupe.com.

References

1. "Social Security Retirement Benefits." Social Security Administration. http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10035.pdf

2. "What You Should Know About Your Retirement Plan." U.S. Department of Labor. http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/publications/wyskapr.html