Social Security is Here When You’re Ready for Retirement

January 26, 2023 • By

Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Last Updated: November 2, 2023

Two older men video chatting on a smartphoneWhen you think you’re ready to retire, we’re here to help you make an informed decision about when to apply for benefits. You should decide based on your individual and family circumstances.

Would it be better for you to start getting benefits early with a smaller monthly amount over a longer period? Or perhaps wait for a larger monthly payment over less time? The answer is personal and depends on several factors, such as your current and anticipated cash needs, health, and your family history on longevity. Most importantly, you should study your future financial needs and obligations, and estimate your future Social Security benefit.

The best and easiest way to estimate your future Social Security benefits is with a personal my Social Security account. You can create your free account on our website. Use your account to see how much you might receive each month based on the age at which you want to start receiving benefits.

We encourage you to weigh all the factors carefully before deciding when to begin receiving Social Security benefits. This decision affects the monthly benefit amount you will receive for the rest of your life and may affect benefits for your survivors.

Social Security’s Online Retirement Resources

Whether you’re ready to learn about, apply for, or manage your retirement benefits, our online resources make it easy for you to find the information you need. How easy? You can do it from your computer, tablet, and even smartphone!

On our website, you can:

  • Get our publications.
  • Estimate your benefits with one of our many calculators.
  • Find your Full Retirement Age.
  • Learn about benefits for a spouse and family members.
  • Apply for benefits.
  • Manage your benefits once you start receiving them.

You and your loved ones can discover all these resources on our Retirement page.

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About the Author

Dawn Bystry, Associate Commissioner, Office of Strategic and Digital Communications

Deputy Associate Commissioner, Office of Strategic and Digital Communications


  1. Ann C.

    Hi, Afroz. Thanks for visiting our blog. The earliest age your father can get retirement benefits is 62. In the meantime, he can create a my Social Security account to review estimates of his retirement, disability, and survivors benefits, his earnings record, and the estimated Social Security and Medicare taxes he’s paid. Keep in mind you can only create a personal my Social Security account using your own information and for your own exclusive use.  You cannot create or use an account on behalf of another person, even if you have that person’s written permission. We hope this helps. 

  2. John

    I will be 62 at the end of June and intend to start collecting my SS benefit. How soon before my 62 birthday can I apply?

    • Ann C.

      Hi, John. Thanks for your question. Our system is set up to take applications four months in advance. When you are ready, you can complete the online application for your Social Security retirement benefits in as little as 15 minutes. Also, you can create a personal my Social Security account to review your earnings record and get an estimate of your future benefits. Please visit our Social Security Retirement Planner for more information. We hope this helps. 

  3. Mark, E.

    Reference to Social Security is there when you’re ready to retire. I thought I could rely on my social security and actually planned for it to be there. However, after paying in to the social security system for over 21 years I discovered that because I went to work for the State of Ohio and retired from them, the social security system wants to steal almost 60% of my entitled money. My state retirement is minuscule and cola is capped at a 3% maximum. Social Security was increased by an 8.7% cola. I don’t know who’s calculating inflation, but when all prices are doubled or tripled, this is a minimum of 100% inflation. Congress and our government better wake up fast. Quit making billionaires who do nothing and pay the people who earned the money, and who actually deserve the money. Take care of your seniors because they have been poked with the stick one too many times. As was once said, Don’t Wake the Sleeping Giant!

  4. Tammy w.

    What happens if I cannot remember specific dates regarding past employment or past marriages?
    I have not worked in the past 20 years.

  5. Emilia

    I have a question related to my parents retirements benefits. Is here anyone to answer?

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Emilia. For their security, we do not have access to private information in this venue. We ask that members in our Blog community work with our offices with specific questions. Your parents can call us at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., for assistance. They can also contact their local Social Security office. We hope this helps.

  6. Nevis

    How do I apply for spousal benefits?
    I do not find any info!

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Nevis. Thanks for your question. Keep in mind to qualify for spouse’s benefits, your spouse must be receiving retirement or disability benefits. If you qualify for your own benefits and for benefits as a spouse, we always pay your own benefits first. If your benefits as a spouse are higher than your own benefits, you will get a combination of benefits equaling the higher spouse benefit. Please visit Retirement Planner for more information and how to apply. We hope this helps.

  7. Robert L.

    How long it takes to talk to a person ?
    Seems no one is there to answer?

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Robert. We are sorry to hear about your experience. We respond to questions and provide general information on our Retirement, Survivors, Disability, Medicare and SSI programs. If you have a general question, we encourage you to ask here. But remember, never post personal information on social media. We hope this helps. 

  8. Theresa S.

    I’m already on disability. I’ve got Medicare. I just turned 64, what happens when I get to retirement age 66 & 10 months? Will my benefits change?

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Theresa. Thanks for your question. When you reach full retirement age, your disability benefits automatically convert to retirement benefits, but the benefit amount remains the same. We hope this helps. 

    • Luis L.

      if im on disability when do i retired and will my benefits change

      • Ann C.

        Hi, Luis. Thanks for your question. Thanks for your question. When you reach full retirement age, we will automatically convert your disability benefits to retirement benefits, but the amount remains the same. Starting the month you reach retirement age, you will get benefits with no limit on your earnings. We hope this helps!

  9. Next l.

    A financial plan for retirement is a comprehensive plan that outlines the steps you need to take to ensure that you have enough financial resources to live comfortably during your retirement years. The plan should consider your current financial situation, your retirement goals, and your expected retirement income and expenses. It should also take into account any potential changes in your financial circumstances, such as changes in your income, expenses, or investment portfolio. For more information please visit our website “Next Level Planning.”

  10. Felicia

    If SSDI dysfunctionality, didn’t force you to apply for retirement early
    I would say wait t till at least 65 if financially, and medically possible

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