Calculate The Best Time To Start Social Security
If you are confused about when to start, you can use the Social Security Explorer part of the NewRetirement Retirement Planner to compare your monthly income and maximum lifetime payout at different ages.
Or, you might consider the following rules of thumb:
- Take Early: The only people who should consider taking their Social Security early are those who absolutely need the money immediately, or those who do not expect to live for very long, due to illness
- Take at Full Retirement Age: Should you have reason to believe that you will not live past the age of 80, then generally speaking you will maximize your social security benefits if you take them when you reach your Full Retirement Age.
- Wait as Long as Possible: On the other hand, if you are confident that you will live past the age of 80 or 85, then most experts recommend that you defer your social security for as long as you can , so as to maximize the benefits you receive from it.
- Other: If you have dependent children, the additional benefits you receive for them might make filing when you are younger worthwhile.
It can also be a very good idea to have an overall retirement plan before you decide when to start your Social Security benefits. The NewRetirement Retirement Planner can help you assess all of your sources of retirement income and whether or not you will have enough to cover your expenses. This tool was recently named a best retirement calculator by the American Association of Individual Investors .
When To Apply For Social Security
As stated above, you are eligible to apply for Social Security retirement benefits when you are 61 and nine months. You can start collecting benefits as soon as you turn 62.
However, just because you can, does not mean that you should.
The longer you delay starting your benefits, the more your monthly income will be. In fact, the difference in lifetime income between starting at age 62 and waiting until your maximum retirement age can be more than $100,000 and for many people much much more.
While you can start benefits at age 62, the Social Security Administration considers that early. Depending on your birth year, you do not reach what the SSA calls full retirement age until sometime between ages 66 and 67.
- For every month prior to your full retirement age that you begin taking benefits, around 0.55% is deducted from your payout.
- And, for every year that you defer your benefits, you will receive a larger amount when you finally do begin drawing Social Security. The amount of the bonus is dependent, once more, on your birth date. For example, someone born in 1944 has a full retirement age of 66. If they start benefits at age 69, they will receive eight percent more benefits for each year they delay.
Create A User Name And Password
Next, the page will prompt you to create a user name plus password for Social Security My Account. After completing this step, you will receive an email or text with your activation code. Type the activation code into the page and double check your work. If its correct, click next.
Note: if you already received a letter with your SSA account activation code, you will need to refer to the letter. Enter the activation code into the screen and click next.
Recommended Reading: How Early Can I Collect Social Security
How To Get Started
To set up a My Social Security account, you must be at least 18 and have a Social Security number, a valid email address and a U.S. mailing address. Youll also need some form of identification or financial information, like a drivers license or tax return, to verify your identity during the sign-up process. Make sure that you have all of this information handy.
Heres how to set up your account.
Go to the My Social Security sign-up page. Click on Create an Account . Youll be asked to read and agree to terms of service for the account.
Enter identifying information, including your name, birth date, Social Security number and address. Youll also be asked to provide a cellphone number or email address the SSA will use it later for verification.
Choose a method for Social Security to confirm your identity. There are three options:
Get a security code. Once youve provided information to verify your identity, Social Security sends a code by text or email, which you can enter to finish setting up your account. You can opt to receive the code by regular mail, though that option can take five to 10 days.
Create a username and password. This will be your My Social Security account log-in. The password must contain between eight and 64 characters and include upper- and lowercase letters, at least one number, and at least one symbol like an exclamation point, ampersand or dollar sign.
Congratulations! You have successfully created your online My Social Security account.
I Am Visually Impaired Can I Receive My Cra Security Code In An Alternate Format
The CRA offers forms, publications and correspondence in multiple formats for persons with a visual impairment. These formats include Braille, e-text , MP3, or large print. If you would prefer to receive the CRA security code letter and other personal correspondence from the CRA in an alternate format, call 1-800-959-8281 for more information.
Read Also: Age For Social Security Benefit
Helping Someone Apply Online
We welcome those of you who wish to help another person apply for disability, retirement, spouse’s, or Medicare benefits. You may be a friend, relative, attorney, paralegal, employer, or member of an advocacy group or organization.
When you fill out the application, we may ask for information about you , your relationship to the person you are helping to apply, if applicable, and the organization you work for.
The person you are helping will be asked to agree to a Terms of Service Agreement and create or log in to their personal mySocial Security account. If we are not able to process their request, they will receive specific information on how to contact us by phone or schedule an appointment.
If the person you are helping is, or will be, immediately available to sign the completed application on his or her own behalf, please answer the questions as that person would answer them.
What Is A Social Security Benefit Verification Letter
The Benefit Verification letter, sometimes called a “budget letter,” a “benefits letter,” a “proof of income letter,” or a “proof of award letter,” serves as proof of your retirement, disability, Supplemental Security Income , or Medicare benefits. You may use your letter for loans, housing assistance, mortgage, and for other income verification purposes. You can also use it to prove that you don’t receive benefits, have applied for benefits, or that you have never received Social Security benefits or SSI.
In addition to name, date of birth, and the benefits received, the Benefit Verification letter includes other identifiers to prevent misuse and fraud.
Who Can Sign The Application
If the person you are helping is, or will be, with you and able to sign the completed application, he or she must be the one to sign it . The application will then be automatically forwarded to us and we will begin processing.
However, if the person is not with you or not able to sign the application, we will mail it to him or her for verification and signature.
Apply Online For Disability Benefits
Social Security offers an online disability application you can complete at your convenience. Apply from the comfort of your home or any location at a time most convenient for you. You do not need to drive to your local Social Security office or wait for an appointment with a Social Security representative.
You can use the online application to apply for disability benefits if you:
- Are age 18 or older
- Are not currently receiving benefits on your own Social Security record
- Are unable to work because of a medical condition that is expected to last at least 12 months or result in death: and
- Have not been denied disability benefits in the last 60 days. If your application was recently denied for medical reasons, the Internet Appeal is a starting point to request a review of the medical determination we made.
- Print and review the Adult Disability Checklist.
It will help you gather the information you need to complete the application.
We suggest that you have the following information at hand. It will make completing the application much easier.
Information About You
Information About Your Medical Condition
Information About Your Work
We may ask you to provide documents to show that you are eligible, such as:
We accept photocopies of W-2 forms, self-employment tax returns or medical documents, but we must see the original of most other documents, such as your birth certificate.
Mailing Your Documents
After we receive your online application, we will:
Don’t Miss: Taxes On Social Security Retirement Benefits
Your Personal Mysocial Security Account Is For Your Use Only
Social Security is dedicated to protecting the information and resources entrusted to us, including your personal information and investment. For your protection, youre the only one who can create your personal mySocial Security account for your own exclusive use. No one can create or use an account on your behalf, even with written permission. Dont share the use of your account with anyone else under any circumstances, as unauthorized use of this service is a misrepresentation of your identity to the federal government and could subject you to criminal or civil penalties, or both.
How Do I Create My Cra User Id And Password
When you create your user ID and password, we recommend that you:
- make them easy for you to remember and hard for others to guess
- avoid using personal information such as your name, social insurance number, mailing address, or email address and
- always keep this information secure and do not share it with anyone.
You will not be able to proceed with the creation of a user ID and password unless you follow these rules:
Don’t Miss: When Can I Start Drawing My Social Security
My Account For Individuals
You will have to complete two steps.
Step 1 Provide personal information
- Enter your social insurance number.
- Enter your date of birth.
- Enter your current postal code or ZIP code.
- Enter an amount you entered on one of your income tax and benefit returns. Have a copy of your returns handy. To register, a return for one of these two years must have been filed and assessed.
- Create a CRA user ID and password.
- Create your security questions and answers. You can also decide if you want a persistent cookie added to your computer, so you can access CRA Login Services using that same computer later without being asked for more identification.
After you complete step one of the registration process, you will have access to limited tax information on My Account. After you enter your CRA security code, you will have access to the full suite of services available in My Account, as well as the Auto-fill my return service.
Step 2 Enter the CRA security code
To access your account, return to My Account for Individuals, select “CRA login,” and enter your CRA user ID and password. When prompted, enter your CRA security code.
You can log into CRA Login Services with a Sign-in Partner. This option lets you log in with a user ID and password that you may already have, such as for online banking. For more information, see Sign-in Partners Help and FAQs.
Why Do You Need One
A Social Security number is important because you need it to get a job, collect Social Security benefits and get some other government services. You should keep your Social Security card in a safe place with your other important papers and avoid giving it out unnecessarily. Keep in mind that in many cases, even if you lost your card, you may not need a replacement. In most cases, simply knowing your Social Security number is enough. But if you do need a replacement, we make it easy.
Also Check: Take Social Security Early
Login To Your Online Account
Provide your username and password to login. With a Social Security My Account page, you can check earnings and estimate future benefits. If you already receive Social Security benefits, you can perform certain functions, including:
- Request a benefit verification letter from Social Security Administration
- Update direct deposit information or initiate direct deposit of your monthly benefit from Social Security
- Ask for replacement tax forms
- Request a replacement of your Medicare card if youre a beneficiary age 65 or older or a disabled beneficiary receiving Medicare.
You may need a benefit verification letter from Social Security Administration as proof that you receive SSA benefits, Medicare, or Supplemental Security Income . A verification letter is sometimes referred to as a proof of income letter or a budget letter. You may also ask for a verification letter that states you havent received SSA benefits or to show that youve applied for an SSA benefit.
For instance, you may need a benefit verification letter to apply for assistance programs or energy benefits, to apply for a bank loan, or to rent a new apartment.
Protecting Your Benefits From Swindlers
To prevent fraud, Social Security will send you a one-time verification code by text or email each subsequent time you log in. The SSA implemented this process in 2017 to guard against unauthorized use and identity theft.
Thats because scammers who have your Social Security number and address can go online and set up a My Social Security account in your name, if you havent already done so. The big risk is if youre 62 or older. Thieves could start collecting your retirement benefits, and you might not find out about it until years later when you apply for Social Security.
Only one account is permitted per Social Security number, so claiming your account early is key. People need to plant their flag, because someone could just sign up for you, cybersecurity expert Brian Krebs, who runs the Krebs on Security website, told AARP in 2018.
Krebs said that in Social Security identity theft cases hes seen, the victims ultimately had to visit a Social Security office to resolve the problems.
Patrick J. Kiger is a contributing writer for AARP. He has written for a wide variety of publications, including the Los Angeles Times Magazine, GQ, Mother Jones and websites of the Discovery Channel and National Geographic.
Also of Interest
Please leave your comment below.
Recommended Reading: Find Someone’s Employer By Social Security Number
At What Age Is Social Security No Longer Taxed
At 65 to 67, depending on the year of your birth, you are at full retirement age and can get full Social Security retirement benefits tax-free. However, if youre still working, part of your benefits might be subject to taxation. The IRS adds the figures for your earnings and half your Social Security benefits.
I Have Forgotten Or Misplaced My Cra User Id And/or Password Is There Any Way That I Can Recover Them
If you have forgotten your CRA user ID for any of the following CRA login services, you can recover it.
To recover it, return to the service you want to use and select “CRA Login”. On the CRA login page, select “Forgot your user ID?” and follow the instructions.
If you have forgotten your CRA user ID for any of the following CRA login services, you cannot recover it. You have to register again.
If you have forgotten your CRA user ID for the Candidate profile service, you have to complete the candidate profile recovery process to create a new CRA user ID. This will allow your new CRA user ID you register for during the recovery process, to be linked to your existing candidate profile.
If you are a new user, you will need to register before using the Candidate profile service.
You May Like: When Can I Start Drawing My Social Security
Apply For Retirement Benefits
Starting your Social Security retirement benefits is a major step on your retirement journey. This page will guide you through the process of applying for retirement benefits when youre ready to take that step. Our online application is a convenient way to apply on your own schedule, without an appointment. You can also apply by phone or by appointment at a Social Security office.
What Documents Do You Need To Apply For Retirement Benefits
We request different documents depending on your circumstances. You can help by being ready to provide the information and documents listed below. You can also use our Checklist For The Online Medicare, Retirement, And Spouses Application to help you gather the information you need to apply.
Documents we may ask for include:
- Your Social Security card or a record of your number.
- Your original birth certificate, a copy certified by the issuing agency, or other proof of your age.We must see the original document, or copies certified by the agency that issued them. We cannot accept photocopies or notarized copies.
- If you were not born in the U.S., proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful alien status. We must see the original document, or copies certified by the agency that issued them. We cannot accept documents if they have expired. We cannot accept photocopies or notarized copies.
- A copy of your U.S. military service paper if you served before 1968. A photocopy is acceptable.
- A copy of your W-2 form and/or self-employment tax return for last year. A photocopy is acceptable.
We will return all documents and photocopies unless specifically told otherwise.
Don’t Miss: Estimated Social Security Benefits At Age 65