According to the United States Government, over 59 million individuals will receive approximately $863 billion in Social Security benefits this year. With numbers like that, chances are good that you or someone you know may be eligible for benefits soon. Social Security Benefit Planners answer some of the more common questions people ask about Social Security.
Do I qualify for Social Security retirement benefits?
Depending on your date of birth, the normal age of retirement (a government term related to the age in which benefits can kick in) is 65-67. Take our quiz and find out exactly how much you understand about your own Social Security Benefits. You can apply for benefits if you are at least 61 years and 9 months old, or as late as age 70.
How do I apply for Social Security benefits?
You can apply for Social Security benefits either online, or in person at the Social Security office if there is one in your city. Click on our Interactive Map and find out how we can help in YOUR State
The Social Security Administration recommends starting the application process at least four months in advance of your planned retirement, and you will need information such as your birth certificate, Social Security card, and other government-issued documents. This list published by the Social Security Administration gives the full list of documents that may be needed for your application.
When is the best time to apply?
Every individual’s needs are different, but factors that may impact your decision to collect retirement can include your health, your financial needs, your other sources of income, and your plans to work after you start collecting your benefits. This is because the total dollar amount of your benefits will vary based on how old you are when you claim the benefit and whether or not you are still working.
If you are getting a divorce, you should also be thinking about Social Security. If you were married at least 10 years and do not ever re-marry, you may qualify for benefits based on your former spouse’s earnings when you both reach age 62. The result is that you could receive the higher of benefits based on your own work history or half of your former spouse’s benefit, even if he or she has remarried.
How much Social Security am I entitled to?
As of 2014, the maximum benefit per month for a person who earned the maximum taxable earnings for 35 years or more is $2,663 per month. However, the average monthly retirement benefit is $1,328. Learn about the FACTS of Social Security