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Social Security and Retirement Plan

Many people like to get a head start on planning their family’s economic future. And without a doubt, a major part of that process concerns retirement.

When planning your own retirement, it’s important to consider factors such as your current economic situation, your future needs, and if you will be depending on other sources of income.

Social Security is an essential part in planning your retirement from the work force, and so it’s recommended that you get to know some of its most important aspects.

1.  Retirement Age

In order to retire and be able to collect Social Security benefits, you must be at least 62 years-old. However, if you begin to collect at that age, the funds will be permanently reduced. If instead you decide to retire at age 67, you will be able to collect your full benefits.

See the Social Security department’s Retirement Planner for further information.

2. Number of Social Security Credits Needed to Retire

In addition to reaching retirement age, you should also have accumulated a total of 40 credits. You earn credits depending on the number of years you worked. Generally you get four credits for every year you’ve worked.

If you’ve already accumulated 40 credits and you’d like to know the amount of money that you’d collect during your retirement, you can create an online Social Security account and receive a copy of your benefits.

If you don’t have the required 40 credits but would like an estimate of the amount of benefits you’d receive, you can use the retirement benefits calculator.

3. Retirement Abroad

You have the right to collect Social Security benefits even if you live in another country. But if you are receiving retirement payments from another country that isn’t the United States, Social Security may reduce those benefits.

There are certain regulations for U.S. citizens and residents, and for those living in countries such as Cuba, North Korea and others. You can find more information about your payments while living outside the United States.

Use this tool to see if you can continue receiving your Social Security Payments abroad.

Applying for retirement benefits and other information

You can apply for retirement benefits online or at a Social Security office near you.

If you’d like to receive more information, get in touch with Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 or at 1-800-325-0778 (TTY, for people with hearing disabilities).

Read this note in Spanish.

I have a photo copy of my s s card - I need the original today for my new job. how can i get one today.

Asked by an anonymous Tumblr user.

There are three steps to replacing a Social Security card:

  1. Gather documents to prove you identity and U.S. citizenship or current work-authorized immigration status.
  2. Complete an Application for a Social Security Card (PDF).
  3. Take or mail your completed application and documents to your local Social Security office.

After the Social Security Administration receives your application and verifies your documents, you should receive your replacement Social Security card by mail within 10 business days.

Find out how to verify if a replacement card has been issued.

How to Estimate Your Social Security Benefits

Whether you’re getting close to retirement or planning for the future, you can estimate your Social Security benefits.

The estimator gives you an idea of what your monthly Social Security benefits would be, based on your current record of Social Security earnings. Your actual benefit amount cannot be determined until you apply for benefits. 

As you plan for your retirement, keep in mind that you’ll need 70-90 percent of your pre-retirement earnings to maintain your standard of living when you stop working. Social Security benefits will only make up a part of this percentage and should be supplemented by a pension, savings, and/or investments. Check out 10 Ways to Prepare for Retirement.

Estimate Your Retirement Benefits with Tools from Social Security

Whether you’re getting close to retirement or planning for the future, check out Social Security’s retirement estimator.

The estimator gives you an idea of what your monthly Social Security benefits would be, based on your current record of Social Security earnings. Your actual benefit amount cannot be determined until you apply for benefits.

As you plan for your retirement, keep in mind that you’ll need about 70 percent of your pre-retirement earnings to maintain your standard of living. Social Security benefits will only make up a part of this percentage and should be supplemented by a pension, savings, and/or investments. Check out 10 Ways to Prepare for Retirement.