If you have made significant contributions into the program, you are entitled to Social Security benefits when you reach a particular age. This age varies depending on when you were born. If you were born between 1943 and 1954, you become eligible for your full Social Security benefit on your 66th birthday.
Full retirement age then graduates by two months per year. In other words, if you were born in 1955 your full retirement age is 66 years and two months; if you were born in 1956 your full retirement age is 66 years and four months, and so on in this matter until 1960. For those born in 1960 and after, 67 is the full retirement age.
Though the Social Security Administration uses the term “full retirement age,” the reality is that you can’t necessarily retire on the day that you begin receiving your Social Security benefit. Far too many people don’t understand this until it is too late to do anything about it. The Social Security Administration states that 64% of the people who receive Social Security rely on it as their primary source of income. They also tell us that the average monthly payout at the present time is all of $1072.
A recent poll was conducted by The Associated Press and LifeGoesStrong.com that was intended to get a feel for how prepared baby boomers are for retirement. It found that just about a fourth of the respondents had no retirement savings at all, and as you might expect a similar percentage stated that they expected to work for the rest of their lives without ever retiring. Two thirds of poll respondents said they would be working at least part-time after they started receiving Social Security benefits, and 35% of these people said that they would be doing so out of financial need.
The bottom line is that retirement is not guaranteed. Social Security alone is probably not going to provide you with the income that you need to enjoy your retirement to the fullest. To set of a course that leads to a comfortable retirement you may want to be proactive and work with an attorney to devise a plan so that you can make the most of your golden years.