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Chapter 1: Enrollment

Table of Contents

When Can I Apply for Benefits?

You can apply for benefits:

  • 3 months before you turn 62 (the earliest benefit age).
  • If you are 62 or older, you may be able to start your benefits the month you apply – OR–
  • If you are 62 or older, you can apply 4 months before you want benefits to begin.

Current Law

You can expect to collect 100% of your Social Security benefits upon retirement through 2033, barring any future legislative reform. In 2034, however, that number decreases to 79% of current benefits and by 2089, it decreases even further to 73% of current benefits.

Bottom Line: If you are a current Social Security recipient, you should expect your benefit amount to decrease by 21% in the year 2034. If you are not a current Social Security recipient, you can expect a decrease in future benefits as well. All the statisticians agree that by 2089 Social Security will remain solvent but legislative reform is needed.

Chapter 2: How are Benefits Determined?