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How many years do I have to work  to be able to qualify?

When Can I Retire?

by Roger Chartier -author of  www.Social-Security.bizroger chartier

Full retirement

The age was 65 for a long time, but it has changed.

For people born

In 1938 or later retirement age gradually increases until it reaches 67 for people born after 1959.


If you were born

On January 1st of any year, you must refer to the previous year.

For those born between 1943 and 1954, your full retirement age is 66

retiremnt couple -

The earliest you can start receiving Social Security retirement benefits is age 62. The rates change the earlier that you retire. It is on a sliding scale determined by the month. It's not so terrible if you are almost retirement age, but the sooner you retire the less you get. If you do decide to retire at 62, you will get 75% of the monthly benefit. You will be getting benefits for an additional 48 months. If you can wait till age 65, you'll get 93.3% of the monthly benefit. You will be getting benefits for an additional 12 months.

Benefits as a Spouse

If you start receiving benefits as a spouse at your full retirement age, you will get 50% of the monthly benefit your spouse would receive if his or her benefits started at full retirement age. If you start receiving benefits at 62 you will only get 35% of the monthly benefit, but at 65, you will be able to get 45.8%.3

If you were born in

Year Retirement age At 65 At 62
1955 66 + 2 mos. 92.2% 74.2%
1956 66 + 4 mos. 91.1% 73.3%
1957 66 + 6 mos. 90% 72.5%
1958 66 + 8 mos. 88.9% 71.7%
1959 66 + 10mos. 87.8% 70.8%
1960 67 86.7 70%
67 86.7% 70%
Spouse Benefits are 50%
at your full retirement age
Year   At 65 At 62
1955   41.1% 34.6
1956   44.4% 34.2%
1957   43.8% 33.8%
1958   43.1% 33.3%
1959   42.4% 32.9%
1960   41.7 32.5
1960 +   41.7 32.5

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