Social Security Retirement Ages?
Try the Social Security Benefit Calculator





How to use the Social Security benefits calculator to determine the best Social Security retirement ages.

You are just about at the point where you are eligible to receive benefits from the Social Security Adm and you want to determine what is your best option. To do that, there are several items that need to be discussed.

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A. How Much Will You Receive
(Or What is Your Maximum Social Security Payment)

The Social Security Adm states that you first need to pay into the system for 40 quarters or 10 years before you are eligible for payments. The Social Security Adm has several calculators on the Social Security website (ssa.gov) to assist you in providing more up-to-date estimates of your benefits, including disability and survivor benefits, if applicable. The Social Security benefit calculator you might want to use could be one of these four:

  1. Quick Calculator – Provides a simple, rough estimate based on your input of your date of birth and this year’s earnings.
  2. Online Calculator – Input your date of birth and complete earnings, including estimate of future earnings, to get benefit estimate.
  3. Detailed Calculator – Calculator is downloaded to your computer for you to fill out background data and complete earning history and estimates. PC and Mac version of the calculator are available. This calculator is the most accurate of the first three, as you input data on each of the payments you have made into Social Security Adm over the length of your entire career.
  4. Social Security Retirement Estimator – Provides detailed information about retirement benefits under current law based on your earnings data within Social Security records. The input data is supplied by Social Security Adm for this benefit calculator, whereas you supply and input the data for the other three calculators.



B. What are the Social Security Retirement Ages
and When is the Best Time to Claim Benefits

The age at which you claim benefits, anytime between ages 62 and 70, determines the fixed amount of your monthly retirement checks and whether deductions will be taken for continued employment. Some people feel this is like a game show. You need to decide if you should take a lower dollar amount at the earlier age of 62 or wait until full retirement age (in my instance, it is age 66 for people born 1943-1954) and get a larger monthly check for your remaining years.

If you claim benefits at age 62 or before you reach full retirement, you will receive less than the full retirement benefit. The Social Security retirement ages will impact your benefits. Assuming you qualified for full retirement at age 66, your benefits will be reduced so you and your spouse will receive a portion as follows:

AgeWage Earner Benefits* Reduced ToSpouse Benefits* Reduced To
6275.0%35.0%
6380.0%37.5%
6486.7%41.7%
6593.3%45.8%
66100.0%50.0%

* Assuming you would have received $1,000/mo. at full retirement age. If you filed a claim at age 62, you would receive$750 ($1,000 x 75.0%) and the Spouse would receive $350 ($1,000 x 35.0%).


If you did not claim benefits at full retirement age, but waited later up to age 70, you would receive an additional percentage above your full retirement amount.

AgeMultiply Full Retirement** By This Amount
67108.0%
68116.0%
69124.0%
70132.0%

** Instead of receiving $1,000/mo. at full retirement at age 66, you would receive $1,320 at age 70.

There is no universal “breakeven age” for which one would have more money in hand by starting taking benefits earlier than full retirement age. There are too many variables in play to make that calculation. So it remains a decision that you will have to make based on your own facts.

C. Is the Social Security Retirement Planner Beneficial

The planner helps you find the impact of various Social Security retirement ages on your benefits. You can test different retirement ages or future earnings to determine their impact. Learn what happens if you work after you start collecting payments. Get an understanding how certain types of pensions and earnings can affect your benefits.

It is well worth the time and effort to work through the Social Security Retirement Planner online (Click here) to help you determine how you can receive the maximum Social Security payment.


The Social Security online services provide a great deal of information with the opportunity to run your own cases and examine different considerations. It adds so much more than we can discuss here. In fact, although you are entitled to free counseling from your local Social Security office and the quality of service is generally good, it may be easier to find answers online. Our suggestion is to fully investigate this site to find which of the Social Security retirement ages is best for you.
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