The years can pass by quickly, and before you know it the prospect of collecting Social Security may start to become relevant to you. There are some basic questions that people generally have, and we would like to answer them here.
When will I become eligible for Social Security?
This is a seemingly simple question that actually has multiple answers that are not entirely simple.
You can apply for your benefit when you are as young as 62. However, if you do this you will receive a reduced benefit.
The age of full benefit eligibility is either 66, 67, or somewhere between these two ages if you are not yet receiving Social Security. The exact age of eligibility varies depending on the year of your birth.
It is also possible to delay your application beyond your age of full eligibility. If you do this you will receive an increased benefit when you actually do start to draw your payouts.
How is my benefit calculated?
Your top 35 earning years are used to calculate the benefit that you are entitled to receive.
Is there a way to find out how much my benefit is going to be?
A Social Security statement is available to everyone who has been paying into the program. The practice of mailing out this statement annually in paper form was discontinued in a cost-cutting measure.
You can however obtain your statement online by registering your account on the Social Security Administration website.
This link leads to the appropriate page on the SSA site: Obtain Social Security Statement Online.