Social Security Calculator: When Should You Claim Your Benefits?

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Calculate the best retirement age to claim your Social Security benefits
Let the Social Security Calculator help you figure out how much retirement income you’ll receive at different claiming ages so you can determine when you should claim Social Security. Can you afford to “retire early” and claim benefits at age 62, should you wait until your full retirement age, or can you wait until age 70 in order to receive the largest possible monthly benefit? Note: This calculator does not display on mobile devices.

When will you claim your Social Security retirement benefits?

For many of us, Social Security is the most important part of our retirement picture, and deciding when to claim is a big decision. The amount of your benefit will depend on how much you’ve paid into the system and how early you claim it. This Social Security Calculator will help you decide when to claim and how to maximize your benefits.

The amount of Social Security you can receive is based on your earnings or your spouse’s. To get a realistic estimate of what your benefits may be, you will be asked to answer the following questions:

  • Have you ever been married?
  • Date of Birth
  • Do you now or have you worked 10 years or more in government – at the local, state or federal level?
  • Average Annual Salary
  • What is your projected monthly Social Security benefit at full retirement age?

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Social Security Number Fraud – Who Else is Using Your Social Security Number?

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Social security number fraud is becoming more and more prevalent today. There are a myriad of schemes out there to convince you to give up your social security number. It is important that you are aware of these scams, and take precautions to protect yourself from becoming a victim of social security number fraud.

There are many ways that a criminal can obtain your social security number. You should be very careful who you give your social security number to, as that and a few other pieces of information like your birth date and address are all that one looking to commit social security number fraud needs to steal your identity. Only a few organizations really need your number. Those are tax related organizations, your employer, your bank, and a select few others. Even your doctor’s office cannot legally require you to provide your social security number.

There are some things that you can do to prevent yourself from becoming a victim of Social security number fraud. First, guard your number vigilantly. Do not give it out over the phone, to stores, or anyone else without a legitimate reason to know.

Shred all of your personal documents like bank statements, utility bills, credit card statements, and credit card offers. Do not respond to emails asking for your personal information. This is a scam called phishing, in which the scam artist poses as a legitimate company and asks you to verify some information. Your bank or credit card company will never ask for this information via the Internet. You should also obtain a copy of your credit report several times a year. Check it for any signs of inconsistency. This can be very helpful in catching social security fraud early. Many victims do not know that their personal information has been compromised until their credit has been severely damaged. You are entitled to request a copy of your credit report from each of the three credit reporting agencies once a year. If you space out your requests, you can keep a good eye on your credit.

If you have become a victim of Social Security Card fraud, there are a few things you can do to minimize the damage. Get a copy of your credit report and cancel every credit card in your name. Notify all of the credit reporting agencies that you have been a victim of social security number fraud. Make a police report and contact your bank and all of your creditors. Talk to the police about possibly changing your social security number.

It can take a long time to recover from social security number fraud. The best thing to do is to prevent it by protecting your personal information and monitoring your credit closely. Once you realize you have been a victim of social security number fraud, take immediate action. If you are vigilant you can minimize your chances of falling prey to social security number fraud.

Author and internet entrepreneur Bernard Pragides offers expert advice and tips regarding identity theft. Learn more about identity theft and fraud by visiting his blog at [] and his website [] for more helpful information.

Social Security Administration

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Social Security Administration is a government agency which is independent from all branches of the government. It was formed on August 14, 1935. At present, its headquarters is located at Woodlawn, Maryland. With 62,000 employees under its name such agency handles the Social Security which consists benefits namely: disability, survivors and retirement. As how the agency gets the money to pay for those who will claim from such benefits enumerated? It will be through the workers earnings. They will pay a Social Security tax and such contributions will be placed in a trust fund. It is a mandatory contribution of which the self-insured, employees and employers pay.

Social Security Administration coverage for the Social Security insurance program when it started covered almost all of the workers in the non-governmental sectors who are below the age of 65. Those who were under such program were under Medicare as well. There are workers who cannot avail of the Social Security since they are under different type of program. These are the railroad, local and state government workers. The restriction to age was then eliminated in 1939.

As of now, with the agreement between Social Security Administration and the state called the Section 218 Agreement, local and state government workers are now under the Social Security. Benefits such as disability, survivors and old age social insurance programs provide monthly benefits to the beneficiaries of the insured workers.

Without the Social Security Administration and its program Social Security insurance, the working force of America will not have a sense of security as they retire or be disabled. Everyone is working for survival and to support oneself and family. Not all the time the worker is healthy, young or in good fit in order to work, when emergencies or circumstances have it to interrupt or stop the person to work, through the Social Security insurance it will be a fall back. Since often always, income will deteriorate and most likely no income at all to support the family.

Health care is expensive in US, that is why through Medicare which the Social Security Administration includes in the system, those workers who can’t afford health assistance will still be attended to without the fear of having no money to pay for the total amount due. With the economy that US is experiencing right now, being safe and the assurance that when one will grow old and retire still he or she will reap the fruits of his or her labor through the benefits given monthly.

Candis Reade is an accomplished niche website developer and author. To learn more about Social Security Administration [], please visit Baby Boomers And Retirement [] for current articles and discussions.

How to Determine My Social Security Retirement Benefits

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My Social Security retirement income is perhaps one of the least understood aspects of retirement income, yet there is quite a bit of public domain information available on the topic..

Before doing anything else, you (and your spouse) need to each set up FREE, separate accounts on the Social Security Administration website, if you have not done so already.

By creating an account on this site, you will be able to ascertain the following information pertinent to your monthly SS benefits:

  • You can view what your estimated monthly SS benefits at age 62 will be (current Early Retirement age as of the publishing of this article);
  • You can view what your estimated monthly SS benefits at your Full Retirement age will be (this age is dependent on your date of birth, but the current maximum Full Retirement age is 67, as of the publishing of this article);
  • You can view what your estimated monthly SS benefits at age 70 will be (the current latest age that you can defer benefits until, as of the publishing of the article);
  • You can view SS disability monthly benefits that you are eligible to receive, if you were to become disabled;
  • You can view the Survivor’s monthly benefits that your family would be eligible to receive, should you die;
  • You can view your annual earnings since you started paying Social Security and Medicare taxes, which has been furnished to the Social Security Administration by the IRS. Please make sure that these annual amounts are correct and consistent with your past tax returns, since these amounts directly affect your expected monthly SS benefits. If they are not correct, please contact the Social Security Administration immediately, with the necessary corrections (you will need written proof to ensure that appropriate adjustments are made).

The SS Administration uses your highest 35 years of earnings to calculate your monthly benefit. You must work a minimum of 10 years (or 40 quarters), to be eligible for SS benefits.

Based on the above, as the law currently stands as of the publishing of this article, you can collect monthly SS benefits as a retiree starting as early as age 62, and as late as age 70. As a matter of fact, currently deferring your Social Security monthly benefit beyond your Full Retirement Age, can yield an additional 8% of monthly benefit per year to your SS check, up to the age of 70. If you elect to start collecting your benefits prior to your Full Retirement Age (specified to you on the Social Security Administration website), your monthly benefit amount will be reduced from your Full Retirement Age amount by a “factor” determined by the Social Security Administration. If you elect to start collecting your benefits after your Full Retirement Age is reached, you will analogously received an increased monthly amount from your Full Retirement Age amount, by a “factor” determined by the Social Security Administration.

The age-old question for SS recipients is to decide when to start collecting your benefits. Age 62? Full retirement age? Age 70? Somewhere in between?

The decision you make is a function of several questions that you need to answer:

  • Can you afford a reduced monthly benefit for life if you take early retirement?
  • What is my projected life expectancy? What does my family lineage indicate in that regard?
  • What is the break-even point for totally accumulated benefits if I take early retirement as opposed to full retirement (or later)?

The above is a complicated series of questions to answer, with no definitive answers, but there are certain questions that help answer the above.

  • Based on my year of birth, what will my monthly SS benefit be at age 62, Full Retirement, age 70, and every year in between?
  • Given my retirement at any age, what will my cumulative SS benefits be in any given year?
  • What is the break-even point (that is, at what age and year) when it will be beneficial for me to defer my SS benefits to a later age? For example, at what age and year will it become advantageous for me to defer Social Security benefits to age 69, as opposed to age 63; stated differently, at what age and year will my cumulative Social Security benefits be larger if collection starts at age 69, as opposed to age 63? Some of these answers may clearly surprise you.

It is worth noting, that based on annual government inflation data, your fixed monthly Social Security benefit (regardless of the age that you decide to claim your benefits), may be indexed (that is, increased), based on the CPI (Consumer Price Index) inflation data released by the government. For example, if in a given year the CPI is determined to be 2%, it is possible that the federal government will increase your monthly Social Security benefit by this 2% inflation rate, and this will become your permanent monthly benefit from that point forward.

Douglas R. Hayman is a self-profession retirement and budget expert. He is the author of the Retirement Calculator, and the author of Reduce Your Monthly Budget.