Help With Social Security Benefits


Social Security benefits are no free gift! You paid it in, now it’s time for you to reap the benefits. Here’s simple and quick help with social security benefits to help you get back what you deserve. 


Social Security benefits could wind up as your primary source of retirement income, so it’s important to have a feel for how it all works. 

You’ll find information in this post to help you think about the best time to file for your benefits, and know how much you’ll receive each month.

Who qualifies for Social Security benefits?

Before I retired I never understood that your qualification is based on a credit system, and it takes 40 credits to begin drawing retirement income.

One credit is awarded each time you meet an earning requirement, and you can earn up to 4 credits a year. 

Your Social Security benefits eligibility requirements will be met when you have met the requirements for 10 years in total. 

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How are benefits calculated?

The Social security administration will take the 35 years in which your earnings were highest and then calculate an average figure and come up with an average yearly income. Next they will adjust the income to take into account yearly inflation.

Here’s a post to help you decide on the best time to leave work for retirement.

Waiting until your personal full retirement age before you file for Social Security benefits will allow you to receive the full benefit based on these 35 years of paying in.

What is full retirement age?

As you know, your own birth date sets the full retirement age.  

If you were born between 1943 and 1954 your full retirement age is 66. People born in 1960 and beyond reach full retirement age later, and can start receiving full benefits at age 67.

You will need to be cautious not to get impatient and file even a few months before your own full retirement age so that you draw the full benefits.

Can you get benefits before you reach full retirement age?

If you do get impatient and decide to start drawing benefits out of Social Security as soon as you’re 62, you’ll take a pretty good hit on the monthly pay out, compared to what you would draw at 66 or 67.

Planning your retirement bebore hand is really the key to financial needs being met after you retire. 

It will take careful planning to get the most from your retirement and these inexpensive and insight full books can help with your personal retirement planning.

Filing early will cut your check some amount for each year you retired before your full retirement age.

Can you delay receiving benefits?

Yes, you can choose to start receiving your Social Security Benefits anytime after 62. In fact your benefits will increase 8% each year you wait after your FULL RETIREMENT AGE.

By working longer, which many senior citizens do these days, you’ll wind up with a little larger check each month.

How can you file for Social Security benefits?

You can go to the official Social Security website at ssa.gov and create your account. You’ll find the process there easy to follow along, but I would recommend that you don’t wait until the last-minute to get started.

In fact, I would give myself at least 3-4 months before the day you’re wanting to retire and start drawing benefits. 

Be ready to upload documents like your tax returns, birth and marriage certificates. If you file stuff away like I do, I would start looking for those months in advance to speed up the approval process.

I personally think it’s great to open an account at ssa.gov, have a look around, and then do some face to face with your nearest SSA office. If you don’t know where that’s at, use this simple SSA locator.

Can you find out how much your benefits will be in advance?

Even if you’re still some time off from actually beginning the filing process, it’s helpful to open your free account at ssa.gov.

Once you have your account created, there’s a lot of helpful information along with being able to calculate your Social Security retirement benefits.


When it’s all said and done, your check will depend on the amount of money you earned during your life, paid in, and how old you are when you file to start drawing.  And of course your total amount will depend on how long you live?

The best way to get the benefits you really deserve, of course is to stay healthy and live a long life after retirement, right?

That’s about the best help with Social Security benefits I can give you, other than the fact that you can get smaller checks for more years, or larger checks for fewer years. If I were you I would create an account with them and get more Social Security information to help you decide when to retire?

You payed in to Social Security, so you deserve to get back all you can! But to go along with those “benefits” I’ve found another way to enjoy my retirement years far more than what I get from the gov. 

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8 thoughts on “Help With Social Security Benefits”

  1. Mike,

    Your article about retirement was very insightful! I’ve been around quite a few people who are retirement age lately, and it can be very stressful to know your body is declining physically but to be absent of a plan for your financial wellbeing. It’s important to know social security options and other means of having an ongoing income after retirement. I’ll have to share this article when I see others with questions.

    Thanks!

    • Social Security benefits are something we can all take advantage of when we come of “Social Security age”. In fact it’s amazing how many people work all their lives and have no other income than social security when they retire.

      But it can be a real pain to figure out when you should start drawing the benefits, how much help you’ll get, and how to apply. A few years ago they started making everything a lot easier with with the ssa.gov website, and I hope anyone wondering about their benefits will take advantage of the link in the article. 

      Thanks for you input, Tiffany

  2. I thought this post about retirement and benefits is really topical. What a geat idea to help people who are in this situation. Understanding all the rules can be quite stressful, so any help is well received. I like the simplistic layout of your post and the quality images you have used.

    • Thanks for your comment

      I think you said it perfectly-understanding all the rules and nuances of Social Security can get to be quite stressful. Thanks again

  3. I was unaware that they take a 35 year average to calculate your full benefits.

    Here is a situation that I would like insight on. My Dad is currently receiving a pension from Chrysler and working another job. He is 61. Based on this article, should he simply wait until he is 67 until he actually files for SS?

    What I mean is, if he will be fine without it, and is no longer working at all, should he just not accept the benefit at this point?

    • Hi, and you need to know first off, that this is NOT ADVICE, but information.

      When you start collecting before your full retirement age (66 or 67 depending on when you were born)  you PERMANENTLY lose about 25% compared to full retirement benefits.

      On the other hand, if you wait until you’re 70 your benefits will increase by 8%.

      Even though those numbers are pretty interesting and may lead one to believe it’s better to wait — Take a look at this chart before making any decisions. (scroll down the page for the chart)These figures may change your mind about waiting?

      Now you see why I could never advise anyone. There are a lot of personal issues as well as looking at the long term payout to take into account.  But whatever you do, I would advise going to ssa.gov and check out your own (or your dads) personal social security statement.

  4. Hi Mike,

    I enjoyed reading your post, so may insights on when is the best time to retire, how to go about preparing for that time, financially and emotionally, etc.

    And of course you were so thorough in your step by step instructions on how to apply for social security benefits and encouraging the seniors to apply early.

    Plus lots more information about retirement and what to do after retirement and those links are very informative as well.

    Keep on posting!

    Marita

    • Hi and Thanks Marita

      Most people in the US who retire draw social security benefits, and it can get pretty confusing. One thing that made it confusing for me was asking different friends and relatives — and everybody has completely different ideas about how it works, when to retire, when the full retirement age is, how much you’ll draw, and on and on.

      And I had no idea I could just go to the gov social security site and get all my questions answered? So, I mostly want anyone interested in their own benefits to just click on the links in the post and start learning the truth about SS benefits.

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