Social security benefits are paid monthly and can begin as early as age 62 for early retirement, according to the Social Security Administration or SSA. Full retirement begins at age 65 for those born before 1937 and at 66 for those born after. The amount of monthly benefit is calculated using the highest average monthly salary over the previous years of employment.
The average worker contributes 6.2 percent of the income, and employers match 6.2 percent into the fund. Those who are self-employed put 12.4 percent in on a yearly basis.
Once benefits are calculated, they are paid out the month after they are due. The longer a person waits to claim benefits, the bigger the checks, as noted by the SSA. For each year a claimant delays getting social security after retirement, they will get 8 percent more up until age 70. After that, additional benefits do not apply.
Workers who are at full retirement age can keep all of their social security benefits along with their salary. Those who apply for benefits at age 62 and are working will have a percentage of their benefits reduced based on their yearly salaries.
Under some circumstances, social security benefits may be taxable.