When Will I Qualify for Social Security?

When you are looking ahead toward your retirement years, you probably view Social Security as a future financial foundation. Without question, most people are going to rely upon Social Security to one extent or another, so you should know all of the facts. Retirement Credits You do not automatically qualify for Social Security when you reach a particular age. To qualify for Social Security, you have to accumulate sufficient retirement credits. You earn these credits while you are paying FICA taxes throughout your working career. During the 2015 calendar year, you earn one retirement credit for every $1220 that you earn. The maximum annual accrual is four credits, and this is true if you earn $4880, or $4 million. Once you have 40 credits, you will qualify for Social Security benefits when you reach the age of eligibility. Eligibility Age Before we look at the age of eligibility for your full benefit, we should point out the fact that you can accept a reduced benefit when you are as yo


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