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Who is eligible for retirementIf you were born in 1929 or later, you need to have worked for at least 10 years to be eligible for retirement benefits. If you’re eligible for retirement benefits, some members of your family also can receive benefits.
When can you retireIf you were born before 1938, your “full retirement age” is 65. Because of longer life expectancies, the full retirement age is increasing for people born after 1938. You can start your Social Security benefits as early as age 62, but the amount you receive each month will be less than if you start at full retirement age.
How your age at retirement affects how much you receiveClick on this to see how much you can collect at different ages. Talk to a Social Security representative the year before you plan to retire, it may be to your advantage to start your retirement benefits before you stop working.
Retirement benefits and divorceIf you are divorced after at least 10 years of marriage, you can collect retirement benefits on your former spouse’s Social Security record if you are at least age 62 and if your former spouse is entitled to or receiving benefits. If you remarry before age 60, you generally cannot collect benefits on your former spouse’s record unless your later marriage ends.
Benefits for children of retireesSocial Security dependents’ benefits are payable to your unmarried children under age 18, or age 19 if they’re still in high school, or to your children age 18 or over who are severely disabled before age 22 and who continue to be disabled. Benefits can continue to be paid into adulthood if your child has a disability that began prior to age 22.
Working after retirementOnce you reach full retirement age (65 for people born before 1938), there is no limit on the amount you can earn while collecting Social Security benefits. Before age 65, your payments may be reduced depending on the amount you earn.
Medicare and retirementIf you’re getting Social Security benefits when you turn 65, your Medicare Hospital Benefits start automatically. If you’re not getting Social Security, you should sign up for Medicare close to your 65th birthday, even if you aren’t ready to retire.
Leaving the United StatesIf you’re a United States citizen, you can travel or live in most foreign countries without affecting your eligibility for Social Security benefits. If you work outside the United States, different rules apply to whether you can get your benefit checks.
How to Apply For Retirement BenefitsYou can file
  • Online at:
  • By phone, mail or in person at any Social Security office. Call for an appointment.

When you file, please be ready to supply the information we need to approve your application for theses benefits:

  • Retirement
  • Spouse’s or Divorced Spouse’s
  • Child’s

Also, bring along your bank information so you can sign up for Direct Deposit, and eliminate worries about lost or stolen checks or mail delays.

Last Updated: 9/23/2012 10:05:00 PM