You’ve worked hard for the past few decades, and now you’ve decided that it’s time to sit back and enjoy the rest of your life with your family.
Applying for social security retirement is easy. You can do it online or over the phone. But there are some things you need to consider first.
Check out these 5 tips on applying for social security and retirement benefits:
Know and meet the requirements
First of all, you must meet all the requirements before you can apply.
According to the US Social Security Administration, you must be at least 61 years and 9 months to apply for retirement benefits. If you are already 62, you can start getting your benefits in the month you apply.
Remember that you wouldn’t get your benefits right away. It takes around 4-6 weeks for the papers to be processed.
Remember to bring all the necessary documents when you are applying.
Here’s a list of things you need:
- Your Social Security number
- Your birth certificate
- Your W-2 forms or self-employment tax return for the previous year
- Your military discharge papers, if you had military service
- The name of your bank and your account number if you want your benefits deposited directly into your bank account.
The good thing about the SSA is that they will help you gather your documents if you don’t have them yet. So it’s best not to delay and apply immediately as soon as you are able.
Know when to apply
You must apply 3 months before you want to start the benefits to begin. You can also apply immediately the moment you turn 62, when you reach your full retirement age, or at age 70.
You can get a higher benefit amount this way.
Check the benefit calculation carefully
Many people get lost in the calculation process. Good thing, the SSA has a set of benefit calculators that you can easily use online. You can also ask someone from SSA to explain it further for you.
Just remember the benefits you can get, and that you can always call them for questions and inquiries.
Know your benefits
Basically, there are two benefits that you can apply for: Medicare, and spouse or family benefits. If you chose to apply while you’re working, then your earnings would be reduced until you reach your full retirement age.
For the full list of benefits, you can ask SSA personnel, or you check out this online list from SSA.
Lastly, always remember the dates of your payments. Budget your payments wisely. Invest if you can. It’s good that your cash inflow is stable, but it’s still better to have it grow in an investment.
Applying for retirement has never been this easy. You can apply online, or make a phone call, and you’re done. Just make sure that you don’t depend on internet information alone. It’s always best to visit the Social Security Office near you and talk to their personnel.