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Will a Layoff Reduce My Benefits?

Here's how the calculation works

In your case, because you were born in 1951, a $1,000 benefit at full retirement age of 66 would be reduced to $750, a 25 percent haircut. If you have a spouse, a $500 spousal benefit would be reduced to $350, a 30 percent reduction. For more information, see Retirement Benefits by Year of Birth.

And when you get ready to apply for your retirement benefits, you will find a summary of useful information at Your Future Benefits.

If you are approaching retirement, getting a glimpse of your likely Social Security benefit is an important step. A key part of the retirement process is creating a retirement budget. And that task requires you to know how much income you'll receive in retirement.

The Social Security website is a good place to start looking.

You may also like: Make your money last a lifetime. >>

Stan Hinden, a former columnist for the Washington Post, wrote How to Retire Happy: The 12 Most Important Decisions You Must Make Before You Retire. Check out the archive. If you don't find your answer there, send a query. Have a question for the Social Security Mailbox?

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