If you're approaching retirement age, it's time to be thinking about your social security benefits. Taking the time to research social security laws can ensure that you receive everything you're entitled to. Before you apply for social security benefits, you need to make sure that you understand the process. Here are four things you need to know before you apply for social security benefits.
If you've decided to retire early, you might want to rethink that decision. In most cases, you'll lose out of valuable cash benefits by retiring too early. Legally, you can begin collecting social security benefits when you turn 62 years old. However, you won't collect full benefits unless you wait until you've reached full retirement age. If you can, protect your benefits and wait the extra few years. You'll have the benefit of receiving additional money each month.
It's a Matter of Credit
When determining your social security benefits, the Social Security Administration looks at the credits you've earned from working. In order to be eligible for social security retirement benefits, you must have at least 40 work credits. You earn those at the rate of about 4 credits per year. If you have a few years where you didn't earn the full credits, you can replace those years by working a couple additional years before you retire.
COLA Isn't Just for Drinking
When it comes to social security retirement benefits, COLA isn't for drinking. COLA stands for cost-of-living adjustment. It's the amount of money your benefits will increase each year to make up for the increase in the cost-of-living expenses you pay. When considering your benefits, it's important for you to remember your COLA.
Divorce Doesn't Sever the Benefit
If you've recently experienced a divorce, you need to know that while you may have divorced the person, you didn't divorce their social security benefits. This is important for you to remember, especially if you've reached retirement age but didn't earn your own income during your marriage. In most cases, you can still receive social security benefits by filing for benefits under your ex-spouse's work credits.
Now that it's time to retire, you need to make sure you receive everything you're entitled to. Social security will help provide you with an income now that you can no longer work. If you have additional questions about social security benefits, be sure to speak to a social security attorney. Click to read more.