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

Individuals Near Retirement Age

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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Documentation required to start Social Security retirement

December 18, 2011 by Guest

What papers do I need to start my retirement

Documentation needed for Social Security retirement benefits

December 28, 2011 by David Luhman

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.

Age 65- for benefits

April 24, 2012 by Guest

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.

Earnings limit and survivor benefits

April 24, 2012 by David Luhman

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 :

Benefits at full retirement age

May 5, 2012 by Guest

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?

Retirement benefits and earnings limit at full retirement age

May 6, 2012 by David Luhman

Starting with the month you reach full retirement age, you can get your benefits with no limit on your earnings.

Please see the following links :

At what age can register for Social Security to ensure benefits?

May 7, 2012 by Guest

My mother is 62 years old and gainfully employed. Can she register for social security benefits now to ensure she will collect at full retirement age in four years?

Thank you.

Starting Social Security retirement benefits

May 7, 2012 by David Luhman

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 want ot collect benefits from my ex-husbands plan

May 14, 2012 by Guest

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?

Maximum benefit for divorced spouse based on ex' work record

May 14, 2012 by David Luhman

The maximum benefit a divorced spouse can receive is 50 percent of the benefit the worker would receive at full retirement age. However, benefits paid before the full retirement age of the spouse are reduced based upon the age of the spouse at the time benefits are received.

choosing retirement date?

May 23, 2012 by Guest

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?

Monthly benefit reduction for early retirement

May 23, 2012 by David Luhman

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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