Important Numbers Related to Social Security:
- 35 - This number represents the 35 years of your highest earnings that are calculated towards your retirement income benefit. If you do not have 35 years of earnings credited you will add zeros to the calculation, and anytime you add zeros to a calculation you make your number smaller. I recently met with a client who had 33 years of credited earnings because she was out of the workforce raising her children. We decided that she should work for 2 more years in order to drop those zeros and add her actual earnings.
- 40 - This number represents the 40 quarters of earnings you must have to be eligible to receive your retirement benefit. In the old days these used to be 40 calendar quarters; however, today you can earn a quarter for every $1,300 in 2017 earnings up to 4 quarters for that year. Therefore, you can earn 4 quarters faster but you still have to have to have 10 years of actual earnings.
- 62 - This number represents the earliest age for which you can claim retirement benefits. Remember, when you claim early you take a permanent reduction of your benefit.
- 70 - This number represents the oldest age you can receive credits and you are receiving deferral credits for going beyond your full retirement age. You receive approximately 8% for each year beyond your full retirement age.
- Your full retirement age is the final number- This number can be between 66 and 67 depending on the year you were born. Go to the social security website (ssa.gov/mystatement) and sign up to get your social security benefit statement each year. Make sure your wages are being counted correctly, your age is correct, etc. I recently had a client whose age on her statement was incorrect. When I was young my social security number was wrong and showed a 0 instead of an 8 that I had to get that corrected. You want to look at these things to make sure that everything is happening properly. If you have any questions about your social security - we want to help! Call us at 336-272-5680 and we will be happy to sit down with you and look at your specific social security claiming situation.