What Is The Best Age To Apply For Social Security
When it comes to planning your retirement, the decisions that you make regarding your Social Security application may be the most important numbers game you will ever play in your life.;; According to the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, 48% of women and 42% of men who claimed Social Security retirement benefits in 2013 did so as soon as they were eligible at age 62. I believe that it is usually a mistake when single people apply for Social Security that early, but it is even worse for married couples who do so – especially in cases where the husband was the primary wage earner.
The Best Age To Apply For Social Security
The rational that I often hear from people who want to apply for Social Security at age 62 usually runs this way: ;Why not?; Ive paid into the system for decades, and I might as well get something out of it before it goes bankrupt, right?; It might feel like the best option at the time, but down the road you may find that it was the worst decision you ever made in your life.
The Social Security Break Even Point
The graph above shows that applying for Social Security at age 62 could be a very bad decision over… the long term.
Dead People Dont Have Financial Problems
There will always be attenuating circumstances that make everyones choice personal and unique. But, plan your Social Security decisions so that they make sense for both you and your spouse, for the short term and long term!
How To Request A Social Security Card With A Different Name
The steps to update your card after a name change are similar to those for applying for a card in the first place. Youll need to fill out the Social Security Administrations Form SS-5: Application for a Social Security Card and gather supporting documents to prove your age, identity, and citizenship status.
Form SS-5 is a one-page form with 18 items. Most of these items should be easy for you to complete. This form can be printed and filled out by hand or filled out on a PDF form;and then printed.
Documents You Need To Apply
Please select the benefit you will be applying for from the list below to see what information and documents you may need when you apply:
If you don’t have all the documents you need, don’t delay applying for Social Security benefits.
In many cases, your local Social Security office can contact your state Bureau of Vital Statistics and verify your information online at no cost to you. If we can’t verify your information online, we can still help you get the information you need.
Mailing Your Documents
If you mail any documents to us, you must include the Social Security number so that we can match them with the correct application. Do not write anything on the original documents. Please write the Social Security number on a separate sheet of paper and include it in the mailing envelope along with the documents.
Social Security Disability Programs
In addition to retirement benefits, the Social Security Administration manages two programs that provide benefits to people who are disabled or blind.
- Social Security Disability Insurance Program
- SSDI supports disabled or blind individuals by providing benefits based on their workers contributions to the Social Security trust fund. Your contributions are based on your earnings or your spouses or parents earnings while in the workforce. Your dependents may also be eligible for SSDI benefits based on your earnings.
- Supplemental Security Income Program
- SSI benefits are paid out as cash assistance to people with limited incomes and resources who are elderly, blind or disabled. These benefits may also include blind or disabled children. SSI payments are a federal benefit funded by the general fund of the United States not the Social Security trust fund. Some states provide additional state supplemental benefits in addition to the federal SSI payments.
In some cases, people may be eligible for both SSI and SSDI at the same time. The Social Security Administration calls these concurrent benefits. This can happen when a disability qualifies you for Social Security Disability Benefits, but you only get a small amount of monthly SSDI benefits. This may qualify you to receive SSI benefits as well.
Comparing SSDI and SSI Programs
|Up to 85%|
Income Taxes for Other Benefit Programs
Apply For Survivors Benefits
You should notify us immediately when a person dies. However, you cannot report a death or apply for survivors benefits online.
In most cases, the funeral home will report the persons death to us. You should give the funeral home the deceased persons Social Security number if you want them to make the report.
If you need to report a death or apply for benefits, call 1-800-772-1213 . You can speak to a Social Security representative between 8:00 a.m. 7:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Although our offices are closed to the public, employees from those offices are assisting people by telephone. You can find the phone number for your local office by using our Social Security Office Locator and looking under Social Security Office Information. The toll-free Office number is your local office.
If you are not getting benefits
If you are not getting benefits, you should apply for survivors benefits promptly because, in some cases, benefits may not be retroactive.
If you are getting benefits
If you are getting benefits on your spouse’s or parent’s record:
- You generally will not need to file an application for survivors benefits.
- We’ll automatically change any monthly benefits you receive to survivors benefits after we receive the report of death.
- We may be able to pay the automatically.
If you are getting retirement or disability benefits on your own record:
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Social Security Numbers And Drivers Licenses
Many states require that you or your dependent have an SSN or have already applied for one before you apply for a driver’s license. In these states, if you or your dependents are not eligible to work but want to apply for a driver’s license, you;must first apply for an SSN at the local SSA office and receive a;Form SSA-L676, “Refusal to Process SSN Application.” To learn more, visit our;Driving in the States;page and talk with your DSO.
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What About Taxes On Social Security
Keep in mind that Social Security benefits may be taxable, depending on your combined income. Your combined income is equal to your adjusted gross income , plus non-taxable interest payments , plus half of your Social Security benefit.
As your combined income increases above a certain threshold , more of your benefit is subject to income tax, up to a maximum of 85%. For help, talk with a CPA or tax professional.
In any case, if youre still working, you may want to postpone Social Security either until you reach your full retirement age or until your earned income is less than the annual limit. In no situation should you postpone benefits past age 70.
Applying For Social Security
- ;;; Generally, you should apply for Social Security retirement benefits three months before you want your benefits to begin.; Even if you dont plan to receive benefits right away, you should still sign up for Medicare three months before you reach age 65.
- ;;; If you were born before 1938 and you meet all other requirements, you can receive benefits beginning with the first full month you are age 62.; However, if you choose to begin receiving benefits before age 65, your benefits will be reduced to account for the longer period over which you will be paid.
- ;;; The full retirement age is 65 for persons born before 1938.; The age gradually rises until it reaches 67 for persons born in 1960 or later.; Social Security benefits are payable at full retirement age for anyone with enough Social Security credits.; As you work and pay taxes, you earn credits that count towards eligibility for future Social Security benefits.; You can earn a maximum of four credits each year.; Most people need 40 credits to qualify for benefits.; People who delay retirement beyond full retirement age get special credit for each month they dont receive a benefit until they reach age 70.
- ;;; To find out what your retirement age is, use the Social Security Retirement Age Chart at www.ssa.gov
- ;;; You should speak with a Social Security representative in the year before you plan to retire.; It may be to your advantage to start receiving your retirement benefits before you actually stop working.
ave questions?;Call at 874-4618.
Your Social Security Benefits Will Be Taxed
Most people know that you pay tax into the Social Security Trust Fund throughout your career, but did you know that you may also have to pay tax on your Social Security benefits once you start receiving them? Benefits lost their tax-free status in 1984, and the income thresholds for triggering tax on benefits haven’t been increased since then.
As a result, it doesn’t take a lot of income for your Social Security benefits to be pinched by Uncle Sam. For example, a married couple with a combined income of more than $32,000 may have to pay income tax on up to 50% of their Social Security benefits. Higher earners may have to pay income tax on up to 85% of their benefits.
You may also have to pay state income taxes on your Social Security benefits. See our list of the 13 States That Tax Social Security Benefits.
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File Your Court Case On The Internet
If you are representing yourself in court, you can now create and file many court forms using the EFileTexas Self Help website,; This website can help you prepare legal documents. Like popular tax preparation software, you will be guided through a series of questions. Your answers will help automatically prepare and file your court forms online.
Get started at;;and watch their introduction video.
Use EFileTexas Self Help to file court for:
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.
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What If I Delay Taking My Benefits
If you retire sometime between your full retirement age and age 70, you typically earn a “delayed retirement”;credit . For example, say you were born in 1951 and your full retirement age is 66. ;If you started your benefits at age 68, you would receive a credit of 8% per year multiplied by two . This makes your benefit 16% higher than the amount you would have received at age 66.;.
That higher baseline lasts for the rest of your retirement, and serves as the basis for future increases linked to inflation. While its important to consider your personal circumstancesits not always possible to wait, particularly if you are in poor health or cant afford to delaythe benefits of waiting can be significant.
If you decide to wait past age 65, you may still need to sign up for Medicare.; In some circumstancesyour Medicare coverage may be delayed and cost more if you do not sign up at age 65.
To review your situation, your annual Social Security statement will list your projected benefits at age 62, full retirement age, and age 70,;assuming you continue to work and earn about the same amount until age 62, full retirement age, or age 70 before retiring. If you need a copy of your annual statement, you can request one from the Social Security Administration .
Applying For Disability Benefits
For people applying for disability benefits online, you should understand the differences between SSI and SSDI to ensure you receive the monthly payments youre entitled. Use these steps to help determine your eligibility for disability benefits
- Print and review the Adult Disability Checklist
- It will help you gather the information you need to complete the application
- Complete the Disability Benefit Application
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Beware The Social Security Earnings Test
Bringing in too much money in earned income can cost you if you continue to work after claiming Social Security benefits early. With what is commonly known as the Social Security earnings test, you will forfeit $1 in benefits for every $2 you make over the earnings limit, which in 2021 is $18,960. Once you are past full retirement age, the earnings test disappears, and you can make as much money as you want with no impact on benefits.
Any Social Security benefits forfeited to the earnings test are not lost forever. At your full retirement age, the Social Security Administration will recalculate your benefits to take into account benefits lost to the test. For example, if you claim benefits at 62 and over the next four years lose one full years worth of benefits to the earnings test, at a full retirement age of 66 your benefits will be recomputed — and increased — as if you had taken benefits three years early, instead of four. That basically means the lifetime reduction in benefits would be 20% rather than 25%.
How Do Benefits Work And How Can I Qualify
While you work, you pay Social Security taxes. This tax money goes into a trust fund that pays benefits to:
Those who are currently retired
To people with disabilities
To the surviving spouses and children of workers who have died
Each year you work, youll get credits to help you become eligible for benefits when its time for you to retire. Find all the benefits Social Security Administration offers.
There are four main types of benefits that the SSA offers:
Learn about earning limits if you plan to work while receiving Social Security benefits
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How To Change Your Social Security Card
There are a few different ways to change your social security card, with the main ways being online, through the mail or in person. There are a vast amount of companies that provide this service, and the SSA offers a quick and easy process to doing so. However, through the mail and in person can be somewhat confusing for some people, so its worth looking at both of these, even though they can be relatively straight forward. Through the mail is relatively simple, as it mainly involves sending your application alongside all supporting documents to the Social Security Administration.
However, the biggest drawback is the fact that this process will take a minimum of two weeks, although its not uncommon for people to have to wait six weeks or more. Because of that, you could end up waiting quite a while before your card is changed and a replacement sent out, meaning changing other documents will be put on hold. This is why many people choose to do so in person. In contrast to this, doing so in-person will normally only take a few days, and youll also be issued with a temporary card so that you can begin your application for your drivers license and any other documents.
How Do You Qualify
To qualify for Social Security retirement benefits, you generally need to have worked for at least 10 years. The SSA assigns credits to your paid taxesfor 2021, you earn one credit for every $1,470 in earnings, with a maximum of four credits earned each year. Most people will need 40 credits before they can claim Social Security retirement benefits.
You can get an estimate of how much your monthly retirement payments will be by entering basic information into the SSA Retirement Estimator.
How Your Social Security Benefits Are Earned
To be eligible for Social Security benefits in retirement, you must earn at least 40 “credits” throughout your career. You can earn as many as four credits a year, so it takes 10 years of work to qualify for Social Security.
In 2021, you must earn $1,470 to get one Social Security work credit and $5,880 to get the maximum four credits for the year.