If you were born in 1959, you may have been counting down the clock until you turn 65. But in actuality, the full retirement age for people born in 1959 is 66 years and 10 months.
Most people born in 1959 will not reach their full retirement age until 2026. That’s because 65 is no longer the standard age of retirement for everyone.
Full retirement age, or the age at which you are eligible to receive the full amount of your Social Security retirement benefits, is now based on the year in which you were born.
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If you were born in 1959, you can’t collect the full amount of your Social Security benefits until you are 66 years and 10 months old. But you became eligible to begin receiving a reduced amount of your benefits when you turned 62 years old.
While claiming Social Security early leads to a benefit amount that is less than 100%, waiting until you are past your full retirement age could lead you to a benefit amount that is greater than 100%.
Your benefits increase by about 8% every year that you delay taking retirement benefits after reaching your full retirement age, with a final cap of 128% at age 70.
The chart below shows the amount of Social Security benefits you will receive at each age from 62 to 70. The Social Security Administration’s retirement planner for people born in 1959 shows a more complete breakdown.
As of February 2023, the average Social Security retirement check for a retired worker was $1,830 per month.
|Age of Retirement Collection||Percentage of Social Security Retirement Benefits|
No matter the age at which you collect Social Security, you are allowed to earn a working income and Social Security benefits at the same time.
If you claim Social Security before reaching your full retirement age, your working income will be capped at $21,240 per year in 2023. Once you go above that limit, your Social Security benefits will begin to decrease.
If you wait until your full retirement age, there is no limit as to how much money you can earn by working. Your Social Security check will not be diminished.
If you were born in 1959, you will be eligible for Medicare in 2024, when you turn 65 years old.
You will be eligible for Medicare up three months before your 65th birthday. This is the beginning of your Medicare Initial Enrollment Period (IEP). Your enrollment window will close three months after your birthday month.
If you do not enroll in Medicare when you first become eligible, you may be subject to coverage lapses and late enrollment penalties once you do sign up unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.
Having health insurance through your employer is one way a beneficiary might qualify for a Special Enrollment Period if you continue working past age 65, depending on your situation.
See our guide to Medicare eligibility and enrollment for more in-depth information about how and when to sign up for Medicare if you were born in 1959.
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Christian Worstell is a senior Medicare and health insurance writer with MedicareAdvantage.com. He is also a licensed health insurance agent. Christian is well-known in the insurance industry for the thousands of educational articles he’s written, helping Americans better understand their health insurance and Medicare coverage.
Christian’s work as a Medicare expert has appeared in several top-tier and trade news outlets including Forbes, MarketWatch, WebMD and Yahoo! Finance.
Christian has written hundreds of articles for MedicareAvantage.com that teach Medicare beneficiaries the best practices for navigating Medicare. His articles are read by thousands of older Americans each month. By better understanding their health care coverage, readers may hopefully learn how to limit their out-of-pocket Medicare spending and access quality medical care.
Christian’s passion for his role stems from his desire to make a difference in the senior community. He strongly believes that the more beneficiaries know about their Medicare coverage, the better their overall health and wellness is as a result.
A current resident of Raleigh, Christian is a graduate of Shippensburg University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.
If you’re a member of the media looking to connect with Christian, please don’t hesitate to email our public relations team at Mike@tzhealthmedia.com.
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