If you're getting close to retirement, any changes to the Social Security program can have a significant effect on your plans. For this reason, Glacier Law Firm in Kalispell, MT wants to let you know about some recent and ongoing changes to Social Security's full retirement age. For many years, the full retirement age has been 65. But now, for those born in 1955 and 1956, the full retirement age is 66 and two months. This is part of a gradual change which will set the full retirement age at 67 for those born in 1960 and later.
How does this affect you? The full retirement age is used to determine when you're first eligible to receive Social Security benefits, the benefit amount you receive, and what benefits your spouse can receive after your death. If you were born in 1955, the earliest you may receive Social Security benefits is in 2017, when you turn 62. You'll reach full retirement age in 2021 or later.
There are disadvantages to claiming Social Security benefits before you reach full retirement age. Your benefit amounts will be permanently reduced by as much as 26%, limiting your budget for the rest of your life. If you can wait just a few more years until you reach full retirement age, you will not be penalized, and waiting until age 70 will net you the largest benefit payments.
For those who are deciding when to begin claiming Social Security benefits, your best option is to speak to a Social Security attorney. An experienced lawyer can help you come up with the most effective strategy for your situation, allowing you to adjust your retirement plan in accordance with the change in the law. For a consultation with Glacier Law Firm, contact their office today at (406) 552-4343 or online.