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How old do you have to be to get your social security benefits.
Random & Fun / 9:08 AM - Wednesday October 30, 2013

How old do you have to be to get your social security benefits.

How old will you be when you can start getting your social security benefits?

I was talking with a co-worker and she said she can't get social security benefits until she is 72. I was shocked.

My parents worked in real estate until they were 75. I don't want to do that.

- Asked by lasuz, Female, Who Cares?, Los Angeles, Retired

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You can start collecting benefits early at age 62. However, you have to do your due diligence. If you will continue to earn money at a certain amount, then you will have to give back some of your social security money.

But let's say you want to decide whether or not to retire at age 62.

You can look up your social security benefits on line at You can compare how much you will receive at age 62 vs. how much you would make at age 66 or 67 or any other age, for that matter.

Let's say you are comparing what you would get at age 62 against what you would get at age 66. Here's how to figure out if it is worth it or not:

Take the monthly amount you would receive at age 62 and multiply it times 48. That represents four years of social security benefits you would receive over the four years it takes you to reach age 66. That amount would be "in your pocket" by the time you are 66.

Now look at the monthly benefit you would get at age 66. It's higher than what you would get if you start at age 62, so it looks attractive to wait. However, don't forget that by the time you reach age 66, you could have already received the "in your pocket" money above.

So now the question is, "How long would it take before I 'break even' with the benefits?" In other words, how long would it take the higher monthly payments at age 66 to provide the amount of money you already would have had "in your pocket" if you took benefits at age 62? To figure this out, simply take the "In your pocket" total amount and divide by whatever the monthly benefit would be if starting at age 66. That number represents how many months it would take before you would start seeing a benefit to your waiting until age 66 to begin your benefits.

For me, that time was over 7 years. In other words, if I started receiving benefits at age 66 instead of age 62, I would have to receive the higher "age 66 benefit" until I was 73 years old before I would realize "more" from the benefit if taken at age 66 vs. taking the early option at age 62.

Generally, most people will find that taking the benefit upon retirement from the work force is the best option. So if you're working until age 64, start the benefits then. If you're working past age 66, you could still start taking benefits without a penalty (if age 66 represents your "full retirement age.") In other words, once you reach "full retirement age" (for me, 66), you can make as much money as possible and still receive your full social security benefit.

I don't know why your co-worker said she can't get benefits until she is 72, but I would be the farm that unless there are extreme financial indicators (she doesn't want to claim hers but will claim her husband's because his earnings are much higher and he is several years younger than she is, for example), she should be taking benefits earlier.

You don't have to work past age 62 if you don't want to--so long as the benefits you would receive from social security would be enough for you to live on, that is. So go to their web site. It's very helpful!

- Response by media4u2, A Father Figure, Male, 66 or older, Pittsburgh, Teaching

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Not an expert here. I think 66 is the usual age to begin, but I think if you delay for a while, you can get higher payments. Perhaps that is what your coworker meant, or maybe there are other reasons someone might have to delay,

- Response by mikehug, An Intellectual Guy, Male, 46-55, Cleveland

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age 62 is the earliest you can apply for SS. She or you can go to their website and creat a log in to see where you stand on your potential pay out, and at what age, 62, 66, etc. The site is very friendly with tons of

- Response by nysbikergirl, Female, 56-65, Who Cares?

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I will have to wait till I'm 68, but with my private pensions my benefits will suffer. You we too were dipped into getting private pensions. It should work out I will be worst off that someone on state benefit.

- Response by rumloverreturns, Female, 46-55, Glasgow, Other Profession

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I just asked my spouse if he wants to go in the Peace Corps with me when he can retire. We could live out the rest of our life without worring about all that crapola. LOL I'm kidding of course. You should have seen the look on HIS face!

- Response by joybird, Female, Who Cares?, Therapist

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here It's 68 years of age + my pension.

- Response by ilom, A Mr. Married Guy, Male, 46-55, Halifax, Science / Engineering

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I keep seeing these ads for early SS help, for people with special needs, mainly. I asked if my heart condition made me eligible, and they blew me off.

- Response by chesterdad, An Intellectual Guy, Male, 66 or older, San Francisco

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It goes by when you were born.Us older ones can retire earlier. At 62.

- Response by frenchkiss49, Female, 66 or older, Tampa, Who Cares?

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Early retirement benefits start at 62, if you were born before 1950 you get full retirement benefits at 65, if you were born after 1950, you get full retirement benefits at 67.

- Response by pinkskittles722, Female, 18-21, Fitness

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I believe you can start drawing SS when you hit can work but the income you can make is very limited.

- Response by serendipity57, A Creative, Male, 56-65, Who Cares?

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