The Social Security Service recently made social security statements available online for the first time. One of the biggest new benefits of having statements ready online is a color bar chart that shows the estimated amount of retirement benefit in each check you would receive if you were taking Social Security at age 62 or if you were waiting for full retirement. age of 70.
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While the new statement makes it clear how much of the benefits will be reduced if you retire before age 70, it also shows that you may be able to retire earlier than you thought.
The amount of money you receive in your Social Security check depends on a number of factors, the most important being when you decide to start taking benefits. The amount of money you receive in each check can vary by as much as $800 if you decide to start at 62 instead of 70. Full retirement age is approximately 65-67, depending on how many years you have worked and contributed to the system.
Often overlooked, if you start taking Social Security at age 62, you lock yourself into that payment amount, despite COLA raises, which you are always entitled to. For those who claim Social Security at age 62, your benefit will be about 30% less than if you wait until full retirement age.
Many believe that the amount they receive in Social Security simply increases with age, but the amount you receive over time is more or less the same – the discernible difference is how much more is in each check. the longer you wait to retire.
The redesigned statement makes this difference much easier to understand and the simple colored chart removes any discrepancies between the three different possible stages of retirement.
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In addition, the new design also includes specific factsheets with other information that would have been overlooked in other versions. For example, it clarifies that you must have worked for at least 10 years to be eligible for benefits and that if you have less than 35 years of salary, the years you have not worked count as zero and ultimately your total benefit amount.
If the benefit amount you see on your estimated pages looks like enough to retire, you can choose to do it as early as 62.
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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: The Social Security Administration’s New Online Statements Can Help You Retire Early