Anyone who’s starting to think about retirement needs to know about the normal retirement age for Social Security income. It’s the age at which a person who has paid into Social Security during their working years is entitled to receive the full amount (100%) of the retirement income they’ve earned.

Contemporary walkway

By the time Gen X begins to retire around 2030, normal retirement age will be 67.

Normal retirement age for people retiring right now is 66. By the time Gen X begins to retire around 2030, the normal retirement age will be 67.

Like our elders, we’ll be able to start receiving benefits as early as age 62, but at a fraction of the full amount.

How the Social Security Administration figures it

If you start receiving retirement benefits at:

  • age 62, you will get 70% of the monthly benefit because you will be getting benefits for an additional 60 months.
  • age 65, you will get 86.7% of the monthly benefit because you will be getting benefits for an additional 24 months.
  • age 67, you will get 100% of the monthly benefit you’re entitled to.

Benefits as a spouse

If you start receiving benefits at:

  • age 62, you will get 32.5% of the monthly benefit instead of 50% because you will be getting benefits for an additional 60 months.
  • age 65, you will get 41.7% of the monthly benefit instead of 50% because you will be getting benefits for an additional 24 months.
  • age 67, you will get 50% of the monthly benefit your spouse would receive if their benefits started at full retirement age .

Waiting longer can pay off

If you wait to begin drawing Social Security until after age 67 you can actually increase your income above 100% of what you’re entitled to – by as much as 8% per year. But the latest you can delay starting Social Security is age 70.


Curious how much your Social Security income might be in retirement? You can get an estimate online with the Social Security Retirement Estimator.


For most of us, Social Security will provide only a portion of the income we need to live on in retirement. It’s helpful to know how much (or little) we can count on from Social Security so we figure out what sort of an income gap we’re going to need to fill.

3-legged stool of retirement income

Financial advisors often refer to the concept of a three-legged stool for retirement income consisting of:

  • Social Security income
  • Pension income
  • Personal savings

Since many of us in Gen X won’t have pension income to rely on, we’ll either need to get by on Social Security and personal savings alone, or figure out a substitute for pensions. That might be passive income from investments or it may mean continuing to work later in life.

What you can do now to better prepare for retirement

Of the three legs on the retirement income stool, personal savings is the area we have greatest control over between.

Start doing this now:

  • Save and invest as much as you can in retirement accounts.
  • Pay off all debt ASAP; that means paying more than the minimum.
  • Live a lifestyle you can afford.

Many of us will be retiring in about 15 to 20 years, but we may live for another 20 to 30 years after that.

Bottom line: you can’t save too much!

The good thing is we still have plenty of time take advantage of the power of compounding. And the power of knowledge.

If you don’t feel like you know enough to get ahead click the big YES! button at right (or below on a smartphone) so you can keep getting smarter. And check out my other saving and investing posts.

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