Social Security benefits are an important source of income for many retirees. It is essential to know how much you are eligible to receive in benefits and the various options available to you for taking those benefits.
In this blog, we will discuss how to find out your personal Social Security benefits and the options available for taking those benefits in retirement.
Step 1: Create an account on the Social Security Administration website
The first step to finding out your Social Security benefits is to create an account on the Social Security Administration (SSA) website.
This account will give you access to your Social Security statement, which shows your estimated retirement, disability, and survivor benefits.
To create an account, go to the SSA website and click on the “Sign In/Up” button in the top right-hand corner. Follow the instructions to create an account and verify your identity.
Step 2: Review your Social Security Statement
Once you have created an account, you can access your Social Security statement.
Your statement will show your estimated benefits at various retirement ages, including age 62, full retirement age (which varies depending on your birth year), and age 70.
Your statement will also show your earnings history, which is used to calculate your benefits. It is essential to review your earnings history to ensure that it is accurate.
If you find errors, you should contact the SSA to have them corrected.
Step 3: Choose your retirement age
The next step is to choose your retirement age. You can start taking Social Security benefits as early as age 62, but your benefits will be reduced if you start taking them before your full retirement age.
On the other hand, if you wait until age 70 to start taking benefits, you will receive a higher monthly benefit.
It is important to carefully consider when to start taking Social Security benefits, as it can have a significant impact on your retirement income. You may want to consult with a financial advisor to help you make this decision.
Step 4: Apply for benefits
The final step is to apply for Social Security benefits. You can apply online, by phone, or in person at your local Social Security office.
It is recommended that you apply for benefits at least three months before you want to start receiving them.