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If you are making financial and other decisions about your retirement, it helps to know how long you have to work until you can retire with full Social Security benefits. Many people retire now in their late 60s and even their 70s. Depending on your birth year, you may be able to retire as early as 65 or you may have to work until you are 67 to receive full benefits.
Decide how long you want to work. If you plan to work the minimum number of years to receive your full Social Security benefits, the year you were born plays an important role. If you were born in 1942 or before, you must work until you are 65 to receive full benefits. If you were born between 1943 and 1959, you must work until age 66 to receive your benefits. If you were born after 1960, you must work until you are 67 to get all of your Social Security benefits. Note also that you cannot retire on your 65th birthday, again depending on your year of birth.
Subtract your current age from the age you will be when you can receive full retirement benefits. For example, if you are 60 in 2010, you were born in 1950, and so your retirement age is 66. Subtract 60 from 66 and you will get 6, the number of years you must work until you reach 66.
Visit the U.S. government’s website on Retirement Age (resource below) if you want to know more about calculating your retirement age. If you decide to retire early, you will not receive your full benefits from the government, but may be eligible to receive a certain percentage depending on your age when you retire and how long you have been working. For example, if you were born in 1942, your full retirement age is 65 and 10 months. If you retire at age 62, you will receive only 75.8 percent of your benefits. At age 64 you will receive 87.8 percent of your benefits.
If you wish to retire before you can receive full benefits, consult your financial planner to find out if retiring early is a wise option for you.