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Social Security Questions and Answers:

What is the earliest age I can begin receiving Social Security retirement benefits?


The earliest age you can begin receiving Social Security retirement benefits is age 62. If you decide to receive benefits before your full retirement age, which for most people is age 66 or 67, you will receive a reduced benefit. Keep in mind you will not be able to receive Medicare coverage until age 65, even if you decide to retire at an earlier age. For more information, go to www.socialsecurity.gov/retire


I have two minor children at home and I plan to retire this fall. Will my children be eligible for monthly Social Security benefits after I retire?


Monthly Social Security payments may be made to your children if:

  • They are unmarried and under age 18;
  • Age 18 or 19 and still in high school; or
  • Age 18 or older, became disabled before age 22, and continue to be disabled.

Children who may qualify include a biological child, adopted child, or dependent stepchild. (In some cases, your grandchild also could be eligible for benefits on your record if you are supporting them.) For more information, see our online publication, Benefits For Children, at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs


I'm retiring early, at age 62, and I receive investment income from a rental property I own. Does investment income count as earnings?



No. We count only the wages you earn from a job or your net profit if you're self-employed. Non-work income such as annuities, investment income, interest, capital gains, and other government benefits are not counted and will not affect your Social Security benefits. Most pensions will not affect your benefits. However, your benefit may be affected by government pensions earned through work on which you did not pay Social Security tax. You can retire online at www.socialsecurity.gov. For more information, call us toll-free at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778).


What is the benefit amount a spouse may be entitled to receive?


If you are eligible for both your own retirement benefit and for benefits as a spouse, we will always pay you benefits based on your record first. If your benefit as a spouse is higher than your retirement benefit, you will receive a combination of benefits equaling the higher spouse's benefits. A spouse generally receives one-half of the retired worker's full benefit unless the spouse begins collecting benefits before full retirement age. If the spouse begins collecting benefits before full retirement age, the amount of the spouse's benefit is reduced by a percentage based on the number of months before he or she reaches full retirement age. For example, based on the full retirement age of 66, if a spouse begins collecting benefits:

·       At age 65, the benefit amount would be about 46 percent of the retired worker's full benefit;

·       At age 64, it would be about 42 percent;

·       At age 63, 37.5 percent; and

·       At age 62, 35 percent.

However, if a spouse is taking care of a child who is either under age 16 or disabled and receives Social Security benefits on the same record, a spouse will get full benefits, regardless of age. Learn more by reading our Retirement publication at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10035.html.



Copyright © 2018 by [The Sojourner's Truth]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 01/25/18 09:33:56 -0800.

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