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Understanding Social Security

When should I collect social security?
We receive this question on a daily basis. Silverman Financial, Inc. is a local independent financial planning firm that can help you determine the best time to collect your social security benefit based on your individual needs.

As a Florida Retirement System member, we can help you determine the most appropriate pension option while integrating your social security benefit. Please see our blog, “What pension option should I take?”

Understanding Social Security Pension OptionsSocial Security is a complex subject. In order to qualify for a social security benefit, you need to work at least 40 quarters. The earliest you can collect social security is age 62, assuming you are not disabled and are not a widow/widower. If you are widow/widower, the earliest you can collect a benefit from social security is age 60. If you decide to collect social security early (before your full retirement age) you will receive a reduced monthly benefit. Your full retirement age or normal retirement age is based on your year of birth. For example, if you were born in 1957, your full retirement age to collect 100% of your social security monthly benefit would be age 66 and 6 months.

If you would like to collect your benefit early and continue to work, you need to be careful on how much money you’re earning throughout the year. For 2013, the limit is $15,120.  If you are under your full retirement age and earn more than the $15,120 limit, social security will deduct $1 from your benefit payment for every $2 you earn above the annual limit.

There are many different ways to maximize your social security benefit. There are two unique approaches in collecting social security benefits, “claim and suspend” or “claim now, claim more later”.   In order to utilize these two unique approaches, you must reach full retirement age. The “claim and suspend” technique is beneficial for someone who was claiming a social security benefit and then decides to reenter the workplace. The “claim now, claim more later” is beneficial for a married individual who claims a spousal benefit, while allowing their own social security benefit to continue accumulating retirement credits.  A spousal benefit is equal to 50% of the workers benefit base you are collecting on (assuming you and your spouse have reached full retirement age). The spousal benefit also applies if you were married for at least 10 years but are now divorced and have not remarried.

Silverman Financial has helped many FRS members determine which pension option is best while taking social security strategies into consideration.  Please give us a call at 1-888-229-7163.


Age To Receive Full Social Security Benefits
(Called “full retirement age” or “normal retirement age.”)
Year of Birth* Full Retirement Age
1937 or earlier 65
1938 65 and 2 months
1939 65 and 4 months
1940 65 and 6 months
1941 65 and 8 months
1942 65 and 10 months
1943–1954 66
1955 66 and 2 months
1956 66 and 4 months
1957 66 and 6 months
1958 66 and 8 months
1959 66 and 10 months
1960 and later 67
*If you were born on January 1st of any year you should refer to the previous year. (If you were born on the 1st of the month, we figure your benefit (and your full retirement age) as if your birthday was in the previous month.)