I recently learned that many people approaching retirement did not know all of the options available to them in terms of receiving their Social Security Retirement benefits. With so many baby boomers approaching retirement, the following information may assist in making the correct decision for their retirement.
Option 1 - Retirement at full retirement age - You can retire sith full benefits at your full retirement age. Initially, this was 65 years old but now varies from 65 years to 67 years depending on you year of birth.
Option 2 - Early Retirement - You can retire with reduced benefits when you reach the age of 62.
Option 3 - You can work and receive Social Security benefits at the same time - If you are 62 or older you can begin receiving benefits while still working. While you are working, your earnings will reduce your benefit amount until you reach full retirement age. For the year 2009, your benefit will be reduced when your income reaches $14,160. After that income level is reached, your benefit will be reduced by $1 for every $2 you earn. When you reach full retirement age, your benefit is recalculated and increased to essentially reimburse you for the number of months that your benefit was reduced. When you reach full retirement age, you can continue to work with no limits on your earnings.
I hope this information can help in making the correct decision for each individual. From a pure financial perspective, it would appear tha Option 3 woul be the best decision for most people.
More detailed information is available on the Social Security web site.