By retirement age most seniors anticipate fewer job responsibilities and more personal time. To ensure these expectations are met, older Americans will want to know at what point they can start to draw from their Social Security benefits.
For those seniors born in 1959, the age of retirement is advancing to 67. Legal retirement age in the United States, however, is currently 65, making it the age most seniors are expected to draw Social Security benefits.
Seniors can apply for and receive their Social Security benefits, based upon their own work history, or upon a spouse’s, by age 62.
Widows and Widowers are usually entitled to withdraw earlier benefits.
Widows and widowers are permitted to draw Social Security benefits based on the work record of their deceased spouse as early as age 60, provided the marriage lasted a minimum of 10 years. In the case of surviving spouses who are also disabled, such persons are entitled to receive a disability payment based on the work history of their spouse at the age of 50. In both cases, benefits entitlement is based on the presumption the surviving spouse remains unmarried. However, survivors can continue to draw benefits as long as they do not marry before age sixty, fifty in the case of disabled survivors. In the case of surviving spouses caring for legally disabled or underage children, such spouses are legally permitted to pursue benefits at any age.