As more and more baby boomers reach retirement age and begin applying for Social Security benefits, questions naturally arise regarding the amount of benefits to expect, when to expect them, how old do you have to be to apply, etc.
After some research I found the following to be the top questions asked by those who are ready to start the process of applying for Social Security Benefits.
• How does Social Security work? Social Security is a “pay as you go” insurance plan intended to supplement any other retirement plan you have (i.e., savings, pension). There are various timing considerations when applying for social security benefits, depending on the type and amount of benefit you require at the time of your retirement.
• Who is eligible to collect Social Security? Who can qualify for Social Security credits? It means that anyone born in 1929 or later needs to have worked at least 10 years. If you were born before 1929, fewer years are required.
• When should I start Social Security? You can start as early as age 62 or as late as 70, with payments rising if you delay. A 62 year old who’s now due $750 a month will get $1,320 a month if they wait until age 70.
• How long does it take for benefits to start once I apply? Once your application has been filed, you should receive a retirement benefit check in the month following their month of entitlement. In other words Social Security pays a month behind.
• Where do I apply for Social Security benefits? You can apply at your local Social Security office, apply online at www.ssa.gov, or call 1-800-772-1213 to speak to a representative.
To ensure your benefits start once you retire, you should begin the process at least three months before you would like to receive your first check. Remember that this is a process and there are people available to help make this process as easy as possible.