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Question about SS benefits
Old 04-12-2008, 08:39 AM   #1
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Question about SS benefits

Forgive my ignorance on this topic. Being part of the generation that never thought social security could be relied on, I've never paid attention to how the benefits work. (I'm 39, DW is 41.)


Under current rules, how are benefit levels decided?

Let me be more specific - we are going to retire quite early - within the next 5 years for sure. I've paid the max in SS tax for almost all of my career, DW has for maybe 10 years. If we call it quits in our 40s, will we still qualify for benefits in our 60s? And will they be full-size or reduced due to our lack of participation in the j*b market in the decades leading up to 'retirement'?

Of course I realize everything could change, I'm just wondering how the current rules would apply to folks like us.
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Old 04-12-2008, 08:46 AM   #2
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SS.Gov Retirement Planner: Frequently asked retirement questions
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Old 04-12-2008, 09:04 AM   #3
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Thanks for that. If I call it quits next year I'll get 1270 a month at age 62, instead of 2158 if I worked until 65 (in todays dollars). So more than half.

Better than I was expecting, actually.
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Old 04-12-2008, 11:04 AM   #4
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Maurice, where are you getting your numbers?
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Old 04-12-2008, 11:44 AM   #5
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From the link REW provided. I used the advanced online calculator. Does something seem not right? I could easily have mis-entered something.
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Old 04-12-2008, 12:02 PM   #6
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Early benefits (age 62) will about 25% less than full (age 66-67) benefits.
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Old 04-12-2008, 12:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R Wood View Post
Early benefits (age 62) will about 25% less than full (age 66-67) benefits.
That wasn't his question. He wanted to know the impact of contributing for significantly fewer than 35 years. Or, stated another way, the impact of having some of the 35 years SS looks at being zeros.

OP - yep, looks about right. Most people who either have low incomes or who don't contribute for the maximum number of years are pleasantly surprised when they find out their benefit. SS is definitely friendly towards low wage earners and short career folks vs. long career, high salary folks.
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Old 04-12-2008, 02:11 PM   #8
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Right - I'm trying to figure out what happens if I hang up the hard hat (so to speak) at 40 or 41.

By the way, I've never been classified as a low wage earner before. I'm looking forward to it!
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