Social Security is part of the retirement plan of every American worker. However, it is a much more complicated process and people need deep knowledge about when to apply for it and what are the requirements to apply for the program. Another question arises how much someone will be able to get due to social security retirement benefits. We will try to answer these and many other questions regarding social security retirement benefits in this article.
How to check whether you Qualify or Not?
Now, initially, the main question is how can you know that you qualify to get retirement benefits. It all depends on the number of credits you get. These points are calculated in accordance with the number of years you work. When you work and pay social security taxes you get credits. You would need 40 credits which roughly accumulate to 10 years of work to get retirement benefits. However, this is applicable if you are born after 1928. Another thing to remember is that you do not need to do continuous years of work. Your credits will remain in your Social Security report and will continue from there if you start doing work again. However, if the credits are below the limit then you would not be getting any retirement benefits.
How much would you be paid?
Now comes the big question: how much would you be getting paid after retirement? That depends on a number of factors. One of them is the salary you got as a worker. If your salary was high enough then you would be getting a bigger benefit than others. In short, higher career earnings results in higher benefits payment. Another factor that determines your amount will be the age at which you retire. The minimum age to retire and claim for social security benefits is 62. If you retire at 62 then your benefits will be less if you retire at a higher age like 66 you will be receiving full social security retirement benefits.
How to check your Social Security Benefits?
You can yourself keep a check on your social security retirement benefits and compare the benefits if you retire at a different age if you have a personal Social Security Account.
Creating a social security account is a simple task and you need three things:
- Social security number
- An email address.
- A valid U.S. mailing address
You can create your account online by going to www.ssa.gov/myaccount. You will need to give some of your personal details and fill out the online form. You will need to select a username and a password for your account. Every time you log in a security code will be sent to your email or mobile number and you will have to use that to authenticate your login. The security code is added to make sure the account is secure and is proof of hacking attempts.
The full retirement age to claim social security retirement benefits is 66, and the earliest possible age is 62. However, as said earlier your benefits will be reduced if you apply for the benefits at 62. Most people have to stop working at the age of 62 or before because of their health. If that is the case then you can apply for the Social Security disability benefits. It will help you get the full payment at the age of 62 and you will be getting the full benefits as if you retired at full retirement age. Another thing to ponder is that you can delay your retirement too. In this way, you will be getting an increased percentage of benefits. You can work even after completing your full retirement age and each year your benefits will increase.
Selecting the right time to retire?
After seeing all these things the question which arises in the mind of every American is, what is the right time to retire? This is a very personal decision and every person must decide according to his lifestyle, his family and whether he can work for more time or not. However, whatever the decision you must always consult social security to make the best decision. They can guide you to whether or not to delay your retirement. Many people believe that you would need 80% of your social security retirement benefits to spend the latter part of your life.
Family, Spouse, and Children’s Benefits
Your family can also get social security benefits with you. If you have a spouse who is 62 or older, they can claim benefits too. If you have a child who is 18 or disabled they will also be getting a share of your benefits. Your spouse also has a case on your benefits, and if your spouse has never worked or has been earning low income, then they also become eligible to claim benefits. They can get up to half of a retired worker’s full benefits. Your spouse can also get benefits of a full retired worker if they are taking care of a child who is under 16 or is disabled.
Your children also get some of the benefits from your social security but only in some cases. If your children are younger than 18 or 19 but are full time high school students. They must not be greater than class 12. If your child is disabled they can also claim for benefits and lastly under certain circumstances your grandchild, step child, or adopted child can get benefits too but you will have to check social security for complete authentication.
Your divorced spouse can also get a part of your benefits. If your marriage lasted at least 10 years and your spouse is at least 62 years old when they get benefits. They must also be unmarried.
How to Apply?
Lastly, you can apply online to get social security benefits or you can always consult a local social security officer near your place. You will, however, need some of the documents to apply for it and those are:
- Social Security Number
- Birth Certificate
- Self Employment Tax returns
- Spouse’s birth certificate
- Proof of U.S. citizenship