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Tips on Applying for Social Security Benefits
Full retirement age is for persons who are sixty-two years old and/or older. When you are sixty-one years and nine months old you can file for retirement benefits through your local social security office. If you are not yet ready to retire completely you can still apply for Medicare once you reach age sixty-five.
Consider Your Retirement Options
Only you can decide the best time for you to retire, just because you have reached the retirement age it does not mean you have to retire right now. You need to consider your options and what will work best for you and your family.
Regardless of what age you decide to retire you will receive the same amount of social security benefits. The monthly payment amount depends on when you actually retire. If you retire at an earlier age, for example age sixty-two, you will receive lower monthly payments. If you wait until you are seventy to retire, your payments will be higher each month. This is because the earlier you start receiving benefits means the longer you will need to receive these benefits, where if you wait you will receive the benefits over a shorter period of time making the monthly amount higher.
Once you apply and start receiving benefits the amount you receive is the set amount that you will get for the rest of your life. You may receive increases due to the cost of living adjustments or it may increase if you are still working.
If you determine that you are not yet ready to retire but you are within four months of your sixty-fifth birthday you should still apply for Medicare regardless of if you are at your full retirement age.
Social Security Retirement Planner
The Social Security Retirement Planner provides you with detailed information regarding your retirement benefits under the current law. It also points out information that you may want to consider as you are preparing for your future.
If you are looking for information, you can:
- Find you retirement age
- Estimate you life expectancy
- Estimate your Retirement Benefits
- plus more....
If you are nearing retirement age, you can:
- Discover your retirement options
- Find instructions on applying for benefits
- Apply for retirement benefits
- plus more....
Social Security Calculators
A number of calculators are available for you to use depending on what you are looking to do.
- Quick Calculator - You must be at least 21 years old or older for this to work properly. It give you a rough estimate when you enter your date of birth and your current year earnings.
- Online Calculator - Allows you to enter your date of birth and your complete earnings history to receive an estimated benefit amount. You may even project your earnings as far as your retirement date.
- WEP Online Calculator (Windfall Elimination Provision) - This version allows you to see the affect of WEP on your estimated benefits.
- Detailed Calculator - You must download and install this calculator on your computer. It provides the most accurate estimates.
*None of these calculators are linked to your Social Security earnings record, the earning amounts used are the one you enter. They can only produce estimates and they all assume that you have enough credits to qualify for benefits. Even if you do not have enough qualifying credits you will still receive an estimated amount. If you would like an accurate estimate it is beneficial for you to use the Retirement Estimator instead of these calculators.
Social Security Online Application
The Social Security Online Application will take you between 10 and 30 minutes to complete. It is simple and will save you the trouble of driving to your social security office and waiting to meet with a representative.
There are 6 pages in the online application.
- Welcome to the Social Security Benefit Application
- Questions About You
- Application Number
- Questions About Your Work
- Questions About Your Benefits
- Finishing Your Application
Online Social Security Information
- The United States Social Security Administration
- Cookies Disabled | Benefit Application | Social Security
Allows you to file for Social Security Benefits Online.