social security

cmae17November 10, 2007

I'm about to have back surgery & won't be working for a few months. I'm 62 & work on my feet all day. My money is in home equity & 401k. Upon retirement my plan was to sell the house & pay cash for a house in the little town I'm formerly from. I have no other debt & would hope to live off the social security & 401 investments. I'm thinking I may have to sign up for social security to get thru this surgery period. If I wanted my checks to start next year say Feb. or Mar. when would I need to sign up? Trying to figure it out. Thanks

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Here is a link that might be useful: Social Security link

    Bookmark   November 10, 2007 at 10:00PM
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It's advisable to apply for Social Security benefits 3 months before you want benefits to begin. If you meet all requirements for entitlement, you can receive benefits beginning with the first full month you are age 62. Naturally, if benefits begin before age 65, they are reduced to account for the longer period over which they will be paid.

When you apply, you will need the following:
your Social Security number;
your birth certificate;
your W-2 forms or self-employment tax return for last year;
your military discharge papers if you had military service;
your spouse's birth certificate and Social Security number if he or she is applying for benefits;
children's birth certificates and Social Security numbers, if applying for children's benefits;
proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful alien status if you (or a spouse or child is applying for benefits) were not born in the U.S.; and
the name of your bank and your account number so your benefits can be directly deposited into your account.

You will need to submit original documents or copies certified by the issuing office - you can't just go to the UPS store and make your own copies.

Maybe during your recouperation period you could pay your local SS office a visit. It can be a bear sitting and waiting to speak to someone, but worth getting good information directly from the source. Quite a bit of info on the internet, too. But as for time frame, you probably ought to start the ball rolling now for a February or March start date.

Good luck to you. I'm getting close to having to start thinking about when to begin taking SS myself. I'll be 62 in the not so distant future and it's a difficult decision to make. Even if there was no pressing need to start taking SS, I'm beginning to think it wise to take it at first opportunity. Get into the system before the Govt. does something foolish with one of the few things that actually works!

    Bookmark   November 10, 2007 at 10:05PM
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Thanks for your info..It is a difficult decision as the longer I wait the more money for the next part of my life. But working with pain is no fun & I often feel the life is just draining from me. After working a long time it's hard to give it up. Now I think I know how seniors feel when deciding to give up their homes & move into a retirement center. I bet the decision is the worst part & once done, life gets better.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2007 at 2:47PM
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If you do elect to receive benefits at age 62, but then return to work before full retirement age (FRA,) and earn too much to receive benefits, the amount of your benefit will be refigured at FRA to remove the reduction for months for which you were not paid a benefit because of work and earnings.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2007 at 2:51PM
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All these angles and possibilities is why it's a good idea to have a face to face chat with someone at the local SS office. And to be in contact again if circumstances change midstream.

These are hard decisions to make; it can be a real leap of faith. Armed with good information and a realistic look at your circumstances - ie the anticipated quality of your life after quitting work and going on SS - you hopefully will be able to arrive at an answer that is right for you and that you can live with without regret. I know it's so easy to tell someone to make plans, but you have to if you don't want to experience those "could have, should have, would have" moments.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2007 at 7:59PM
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carlyb - Please make an appointment to talk with someone at your local SS office. They will give you options and info that should make your decision much clearer.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2007 at 8:38PM
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If you have not had your surgery already- PLEASE go to the SS office BEFORE you have surgery. I have had surgery twice, and I would not have been able to sit or wait because of severe pain after surgery. I am sure you hurt now also, but at least for me, sitting was impossible post op.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2007 at 2:07PM
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