Good morning Steve,
I'm Doug, and I'm very sorry to hear of your situation. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today.
I would urge you to speak with your physician about qualifying for social security disability (SSDI) before you decide to take an early retirement benefit because if your health problem do keep you from doing your job, then you will get more money (about 33% more) from disability than you would from early retirement, and after 24 months of being on SSDI you would automatically get Medicare as well.
"Disability" under Social Security is based on your inability to work. They consider you disabled under Social Security rules if:
- You cannot do work that you did before;
- Social Security decides that you cannot adjust to other work because of your medical condition(s); and
- Your disability has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or to result in death.
Here is a link where you can apply online for your benefit: http://www.ssa.gov/applyfordisability/ Your benefit will be about the same as your full retirement age retirement benefit.
Only if your physician doesn't believe that you will meet the definition of disabled would you want to consider taking an early retirement. And if you take your retirement at 62, there is nothing that you can do to increase your benefit. You will be allowed to take your benefit and earn a small amount of money of you can work part time though and that might help supplement your income along with the social security.
If you are under full retirement age for the entire year, social security will deduct $1 from your benefit payments for every $2 you earn above the annual limit. For 2016, that limit is $15,720.
In the year you reach full retirement age, social security will deduct $1 in benefits for every $3 you earn above a different limit. In 2016, the limit on your earnings is $41,880 but they only count earnings before the month your each your full retirement age.
You may reply back to me using the Reply link and I will be happy to continue to assist you until I am able to address your concerns, to your satisfaction.
I hope that I have been able to fully answer your question. Please be so kind as to rate my service to you. That is the only way I am credited for assisting you.
I wish you and yours the best in 2016,