Is retirement just around the corner for you? Today, approximately 10,000 Baby Boomers become eligible to start collecting retirement benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA). Another 10,000 become eligible tomorrow, and every day after that.*
Whether retirement is close at hand or a few decades away, you may have questions regarding when to retire, how much you’ll receive each month, and other questions about how to file, where to file, and when to file your first claim for that monthly check from the SSA.
It’s never too early to develop a secure retirement plan. The Social Security Administration website is a terrific place to start your research. Here you can determine when to retire, how much you’re scheduled to receive, and other information about your benefits status, regardless of your age.
The SSA has simplified the process of applying for retirement benefits using the tools and information found on its website, www.ssa.gov. Whether you plan to retire next month or 25 years from now, this is one website you’ll want to bookmark and visit regularly, to make sure you get the benefits to which you’re entitled after decades of contributing to your retirement account.
You’ll need to create a secure SSA account to gain access to all of the information offered by this website. This can easily be done by entering some basic information about yourself.
What can you do at www.ssa.gov? The SSA makes it simple to find answers to your questions without waiting for “the next available representative.” Save time, do your own research, and plan for a brighter future using the tools and information found there.
- Obtain estimates of retirement benefits based on the age at which you plan to retire, whether you take early retirement at age 62, or keep your job until you reach 70.
- Apply to receive retirement benefits online. It’s fast, it’s simple and convenient. No need to visit the local Social Security branch office unless you want to. Everything can be done online.
- Request a statement of your Social Security account
- Find answers to common questions
- Check the status of an application
- Download forms and other documents from the website, saving trips to your regional SSA office
- Find the location of the nearest SSA office to meet face-to-face with an SSA representative who’ll help you apply for benefits
The SSA Retirement Benefit Calculator
One of the most popular services offered online by the SSA is the Retirement Benefit Calculator. This simple-to-use tool estimates monthly retirement benefits based on the age at which you retire – even if retirement is far off on the horizon.
Some people take early retirement and start collecting retirement benefits at age 62. Others wait to start collecting retirement benefits until they’re 65, or 70. The longer you wait to start collecting, the more you should receive each month. So, planning a secure retirement requires an estimate of how much you’ll receive each month at the age you plan to retire.
However, the SSA is quick to point out that its Retirement Benefit Calculator only provides estimates of monthly benefits. Why?
- Your earnings may increase or decrease before you start collecting retirement benefits, especially if you’re just starting your career.
- Once you start collecting benefits, you’ll receive annual cost-of-living increases that will change the dollar amount you receive each month.
- The benefit calculator is based on current laws and regulations that apply to benefit recipients – laws and regulations that may change before you apply for benefits and, subsequently, change the actual dollar amount you receive.
- The actual dollar amount of SSA retirement benefits you receive will be affected by your military service (if any), railroad employment, occupational pensions, and other factors that change your eligibility for retirement benefits.
Open your online account today, no matter how old you are, to learn all you need to know about your Social Security retirement benefits to make your retirement more secure.
The information provided is presented for general informational purposes only and does not constitute tax, legal or business advice.
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