Retire online with Social Security, quickly and easily

By Edward Cariuty

Social Security District Manager, Escanaba

The idea of applying for Social Security retirement benefits might seem daunting, but it’s not.

There’s no need to visit an office. You don’t have to use the phone. An online retirement application is available that can be completed in as little as 15 minutes and from the comfort of home or office. In most cases, once the application is submitted electronically, the process is done.

There are no forms to sign and usually no documentation is required. Social Security will process the application and contact you if any further information is needed.

It’s as simple as that. To start the application, go to www.socialsecurity.gov/benefits/retirement.

You can apply online for retirement benefits or benefits as a spouse if you:

— Are at least 61 years and 9 months old;

— Are not currently receiving benefits on your own Social Security record;

— Have not already applied for retirement benefits; and

— Want benefits to start no more than four months in the future. The application cannot be processed if application is made earlier than that.

You’ll have to sign in with a personal my Social Security account to file an application.Those who don’t have an account yet can create one.

Just as important, this is where to check that application for benefits. As with other online services, my Social Security is available at all times, with no waiting in line or on the phone.

The site also can show an individual’s entire work history, going back to the first job, to make sure all wages are correctly tallied.

Create or sign into a personal account at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.

Curious about how much retirement benefits might be? To get an idea, use the Retirement Estimator at www.socialsecurity.gov/benefits/retirement/estimator.html.

Social Security provides services for millions of people but wants to make each person’s experience is as simple and easy as possible. Many online services, including retiring online, are part of that mission.

To access that information and more, go to www.socialsecurity.gov/onlineservices.

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