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Separating? Think About Social Security

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As you separate from the military it is a good time to be thinking ahead to retirement. While you will not receive your Social Security benefits yet, it is wise to understand them now as part of your financial planning. Here are some details to get you started.

There will come a time when you reach Social Security age and start drawing benefits. You can draw your Social Security benefit at three different stages:

  1. Early, at age 62 — with a permanently reduced benefit.
  2. At Full Retirement Age (FRA), which (for most people) is now age 67.
  3. Wait until you are 70 when you will be required to draw your benefits; you’ll earn delayed retirement credits which will increase your benefit when you draw.

While you may choose to draw a reduced Social Security benefit before your full retirement age, there’s a limit on how much you can earn and still receive your full Social Security retirement benefits while working. In addition, at age 65, you will be required to enroll in Medicare Part B, and pay the monthly premium to cover medically necessary and preventive services.

Did you know you can track your Social Security benefits online, whether you are currently receiving benefits or not? Visit and create a my Social Security account. Workers can track and verify their earnings and get estimates of future benefits. There are estimators to calculate benefits for both you and your spouse. You can update your contact information, add a direct deposit account, or request a letter with proof of benefits. You can also request a replacement Social Security card.

For more information on additional topics to consider in preparing for military separation, please see the following:

If you have questions, please contact an AAFMAA Member Benefits representative at 888-691-4574 Option 2, then option 2 again, or [email protected].

When you’re ready to retire, or to consider it, check out our 7 Decisions Before You Retire series for information about other choices you’ll need to make.