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Individuals Near Retirement Age

Excerpted from "Social Security Handbook". See the up-to-date, official Social Security Handbook at

1503. Individuals Near Retirement Age

1503.1 Why should you contact us before you turn 62?

If you are a worker, you may get in touch with a Social Security office up to four months before you turn 62. We will give you the information you need so you can decide whether or not to file an application for reduced retirement benefits at that time.

1503.2 When should you contact us if you do not file an application for reduced retirement benefits at 62?

If you do not file an application for reduced retirement benefits at age 62, you should contact us again:

  1. Up to 4 months before you plan to retire;

  2. As soon as you know that you will neither earn more than the monthly exempt amount (see §1807.5) in wages nor render substantial services in self-employment in one or more months of the year, regardless of expected total annual earnings (see Chapter 18 for the earnings test); or

  3. Up to 4 months before you reach Full Retirement Age (FRA), even if you are still working.

Last Revised: Feb. 6, 2003

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There are 12 Comments

If you apply at their office, the Social Security Administration may ask you to provide the following documents to show that you are eligible:

  • Birth certificate or other proof of birth;
  • Naturalization papers;
  • U.S. military discharge paper(s);
  • W-2 forms(s) and/or self-employment tax returns for last year.

There are also a number of questions they may ask you regarding your family, marital status, military record, earnings record etc.

You can also apply online or via telephone.

I have turned 65 in March 2012. I receive a Survivors Check at the end of the year since I am still working. When will I be able to still work, and the amount does not matter, and receive a check each month.

I'm not sure I understand the question.

If you work while getting Social Security survivors benefits and are younger than full retirement age, your benefits may be reduced if your earnings exceed certain limits. The full retirement age for folks born 1943-1954 is 66.

There is no earnings limit beginning with the month you reach full retirement age.

To find out what the earnings limits are this year and how earnings above those limits reduce your Social Security benefits, see the following :

Both my husband and I will reach full retirement age (66) on December 19, 2012 and January 1 2013 respectively. We both plan to continue working full time. Can we begin to receive our full retirement benefits anyway starting December for him and is it December or January for me?

The SSA recommends you apply for benefits about three months before the date you want your benefits to start.

The SSA has a retirement planner which may help with your planning.

Note that if you begin receiving retirement benefits while continuing to work, you may be subject to the "earnings limit".

Also see this post :

I will be 62 in August and would like to received social security.My husband earned more income. We were married 10 1/2 years. Can I receive the full amount he would receive if he retired now or is it a percentage of that amount?

My full retirement age of 66 will not be until December 2013, but I am considering December 2012 as my date for applying for SS retirement benefits. My statement from Social Security shows the monthly benefit amount for 62 or 66; how can I discover what the monthly benefit would be for 65?

For someone in your "birth class" (born 1943-1954) your retirement benefit is reduced by about 0.6 percent for each month of early retirement. Equivalently, your benefit is reduced by about 8 percent for each year of early retirement.

For example, for if you retire at age 65 instead of 66 (your full retirement age), you will only receive 93.3 percent of your full-retirement benefit.

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