The number of credits you need to get retirement benefits depends on when you were born. If you were born in 1929 or later, you need 40 credits (usually, this is 10 years of work). If you stop working before you have enough credits to qualify for benefits, the credits will remain on your Social Security record.
Workers who have not accrued the requisite 40 credits (roughly 10 years of employment) are not eligible for Social Security.
Social Security benefits are based on your lifetime earnings. Your actual earnings are adjusted or “indexed” to account for changes in average wages since the year the earnings were received. Then Social Security calculates your average indexed monthly earnings during the 35 years in which you earned the most.
Everyone born in 1929 or later needs 40 credits to be eligible for Social Security retirement benefits. Since you can earn 4 credits per year, you need at least 10 years of work that subject to Social Security to become eligible for Social Security retirement benefits.
If you claim benefits with fewer than 35 years of earnings, Social Security credits you with no income for each year up to 35. For example, if you worked for 30 years, there will be five zeroes in your benefit calculation. If you continue working, each year with earnings displaces a zero.
You can begin collecting your Social Security benefits as early as age 62, but you'll get smaller monthly payments for the rest of your life if you do. Even so, claiming benefits early can be a sensible choice for people in certain circumstances.
So can you retire at 55 and collect Social Security? The answer, unfortunately, is no. The earliest age to begin drawing Social Security retirement benefits is 62. ... Once you turn 62, you could claim Social Security retirement benefits but your earnings from consulting work could affect how much you collect.
We compute your benefits based on your earnings record. You choose to get benefits before your full retirement age. You can begin to receive Social Security benefits as early as age 62, but at a reduced rate. We reduce your basic benefit by a certain percentage if you retire before reaching full retirement age.
Imagine that an individual who attained full retirement age at 67 had enough years of coverage to qualify for the full minimum Social Security benefit of $897. If they filed at 62, there would be a 30% reduction to benefits. This means that for 2020, the minimum Social Security benefit at 62 is $628.
You can also get basic benefit estimates by calling the Social Security Administration at 800-772-1213. But remember, no matter where you get the numbers, they are estimates, not promises.
The question is, what can the typical retired worker expect to receive from Social Security at age 62? According to payout statistics from the Social Security Administration in June 2020, the average Social Security benefit at age 62 is $1,130.16 a month, or $13,561.92 a year.
Workers who earn $60,000 per year pay payroll taxes on all of their income because the wage base limit on Social Security taxes is almost twice that amount. Therefore, you'll pay 6.2% of your salary, or $3,720.
If you start collecting benefits before reaching full retirement age, you can earn a maximum of $18,960 in 2021 ($19,560 for 2022) and still get your full benefits. Once you earn more, Social Security deducts $1 from your benefits for every $2 earned.
If you were born between 1943 and 1954 your full retirement age is 66. If you start receiving benefits at age 66 you get 100 percent of your monthly benefit. If you delay receiving retirement benefits until after your full retirement age, your monthly benefit continues to increase.
You can start collecting at age 62, the minimum retirement age, but you'll get a bigger monthly payment if you wait until full retirement age, which is 66 but is gradually moving to 67 for people born in 1960 or after. If you can wait until 70 to start collecting, you'll receive your maximum monthly benefit.
DEFINITION: The special minimum benefit is a special minimum primary insurance amount ( PIA ) enacted in 1972 to provide adequate benefits to long-term low earners. The first full special minimum PIA in 1973 was $170 per month. Beginning in 1979, its value has increased with price growth and is $886 per month in 2020.
Consider the Average Social Security Payment
The average Social Security benefit is $1,657 per month in January 2022. The maximum possible Social Security benefit for someone who retires at full retirement age is $3,345 in 2022.
If you don't have the 40 credits, you don't draw any retirement. You may not borrow or buy credits from another worker, nor can you earn retirement benefits contingent on future earnings and credits.
Social Security benefits are typically computed using "average indexed monthly earnings." This average summarizes up to 35 years of a worker's indexed earnings.
Those who make $40,000 pay taxes on all of their income into the Social Security system. It takes more than three times that amount to max out your Social Security payroll taxes. The current tax rate is 6.2%, so you can expect to see $2,480 go directly from your paycheck toward Social Security.
If instead they wait until age 70, they stand to get the largest possible benefits. Research from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College shows that Americans mostly tend to claim retirement benefits either around 62 or their full retirement age as defined by Social Security.
If you stop work before you start receiving benefits and you have less than 35 years of earnings, your benefit amount is affected. We use a zero for each year without earnings when we calculate the amount of retirement benefits you are due. Years with no earnings reduces your retirement benefit amount.
The rule of 55 is an IRS regulation that allows certain older Americans to withdraw money from their 401(k)s without incurring the customary 10% penalty for early withdrawals made before age 59 1/2.