November 24, 2014

  1. The Definition of Full Retirement Age is the age “at which a person may first become entitled to full or unreduced retirement benefits.” The age used to be 65 but is gradually climbing to age 67, depending on your date of birth. An excellent discussion about these concepts concerning delaying receipt (or not) of Social Security.
  2. Primarily men (as it turns out) want to know how large a survivor benefit a surviving spouse can receive if a husband dies first. A surviving spouse is eligible to receive 100% of a deceased spouse’s basic benefit if the surviving spouse waits until his/her full retirement age to claim the survivor’s benefit.
  3. A widow (for instance) could take a reduced benefit based on her own earned credits at age 62 and then switch to a full survivor benefit at the widow’s full retirement age. Social Security has a good guide to many of these issues at its website.
  4.  You can claim reduced benefits at age 62 and then invest that money rather than waiting till full retirement age or later to file for Social Security. While this is perfectly legal, you must keep the risk in mind. The risk is that your investments won’t return as much as the risk free (currently 8%) increases from delaying Social Security.
  5. If you continue to work after receiving benefits from the Social Security Administration will automatically check your record annually to see whether the additional earnings will increase your monthly benefit. However, the benefit maxes out at age 70.

Source: Wall Street Journal (October 13, 2014)