By Brenda Brown
Social Security Public Affairs Specialist in Fayetteville, NC
As if the holidays weren’t exciting enough, it’s November and that means election month. Current and future election hopefuls are prepping speeches and rallying every resource available for the big win.
Even if you aren’t running for office, you can win big, too, by planning for retirement. When you decide to retire, the easiest and most convenient way to do it is right from the comfort of your home. Go to www.socialsecurity.gov where you can apply for retirement benefits in as little as 15 minutes. Usually, there are no forms to sign or documents to send — after you submit your electronic application, you’re done!
In addition to using our website, with its world-class customer service, you can call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778), or visit the Social Security office nearest you. Whichever way you choose to apply, be sure to have your bank account information handy so we can set up your payments to be deposited directly into your account.
When you’re ready to start receiving Social Security benefits, the age you choose to retire makes a difference in your benefit amount. The full retirement age (the age at which 100 percent of retirement benefits are payable) has been gradually rising from ages 65 to 67. You can retire as early as age 62, but if benefits start before you reach your full retirement age, your monthly payment is reduced. Find out what your full retirement age is by typing in your year of birth at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/ageincrease.htm.
You’ll also want to join the more than 20 million other people who have set up a secure online my Social Security account. You can use my Social Security to get a copy of your Social Security Statement. Use the Statement to check your earnings record and see estimates of the retirement, disability, and survivor benefits you and your family may receive. Visit www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.
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