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Financial Birthday Presents for 50+


Start with extra 401(k) contributions.

A brief look at the financial presents that come with your 50th birthday and beyond.

At age:

50 -- You are allowed to contribute more to your 401(k) and/or individual retirement account thanks to a "catch-up" provision in government rules designed to aid those who haven't saved enough: an extra $5,500 in 2010.

55 -- You may take 401(k) distributions without incurring a penalty if you are retired or laid off.

59½ -- (A happy half-birthday) You can withdraw retirement money without a 10 percent penalty.

62 --
The earliest age to receive Social Security retirement benefits. The monthly benefit is 80 percent of what it would be if you started taking it at full retirement age.

65 -- Medicare eligibility age.

66 -- Full retirement age for those born between 1943 and 1954. (It's 66 and change for those born from 1955-59, rising by two-month increments with each birth year. Details at

67 --
Full retirement age for those born in 1960 or later.

70 -- If you postpone taking Social Security until 70, your monthly check will reach its maximum amount. That would make it about a third larger than taking it at full retirement age of 66.

For more details about financial benefits and age, see Milestone Birthdays Bring Some Financial Benefits.
No positions in stocks mentioned.

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