Spruce Up Your Financial Plan with Social Security

April 18, 2019 • By

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Last Updated: April 18, 2019

Financial Plan with Social SecurityNow that tax season is over, it’s probably a good time to evaluate some financial “best practices” for the rest of the year. A good spring-cleaning can clear out the clutter to let you see a clear path for your future. Social Security is always here to help. Even if you just started working, now is the time to start preparing for retirement. Achieving the dream of a secure, comfortable retirement is much easier with a strong financial plan.

Tip 1: Start Early

Our online retirement planning resources are helpful to people at any stage of their career. Our many calculators, Benefit Eligibility Screening Tool, and disability resources are all available on our benefit planners website. From here, you can read and download publications and also email and share with colleagues, friends, and family. Remember, the earlier you start, the better chance you have at saving what you need.

Tip 2: Be Informed

We’re often asked, “What’s the best age to start receiving retirement benefits?” The answer is that there’s no single “best age” for everyone and, ultimately, it’s your choice. The most important thing is to make an informed decision, based on your individual and family circumstances.  To help you make that decision, see our retirement publications.

Tip 3: Estimate the Benefits You Might Get

Knowing the amount of money you could get is pivotal in planning your finances.  With the Retirement Estimator, you can plug in some basic information to get an instant, personalized estimate of your future benefits. Try out different scenarios, such as higher or lower future earnings amounts and various retirement dates to see the various potential effects on your future benefit amounts.

Social Security can help you spring into action and take control of your future with the proper planning tools. Share these online resources with friends and family so they, too, will have the tools.


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About the Author

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications


  1. Blanca P.

    I will be 64 now in June 2021 and would like to apply for retirement, how do I go about this?

    • Vonda

      Hi Blanca, thanks for using our blog. Our system is set up to take applications four months in advance, and when you’re ready, you can apply for your retirement benefits online.

      If you are unable or would rather not apply online, you can call us at 1-800-772-1213 for assistance or you can contact your local Social Security office. Please look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

  2. Janet T.

    I work for State government and plan to draw SS at 66 yrs and 2 months of age, and continue working for a few more years. My birthday is 18th May. So am I to start SS payments beginning July or August?

    • Vonda

      Hi Janet, thanks for using our blog. If you wait until your full retirement age, you will get your full benefit. If your full retirement age is 66 and 2 months and you turn 66 on May 18, you will attain your full retirement age in July. One exception to that is for individuals that are born on the 1st of the month. We figure their benefit (and their full retirement age) as if their birthday was in the previous month.

      Your full retirement age is determined by your year of birth. You can check out our Benefits By Year Of Birth web page to understand why some people have different full retirement ages and what those ages are.

  3. Charlene H.


    • Vonda

      Hi Charlene, thanks for using our blog to ask your question. Social Security disability benefits automatically change to retirement benefits when disability beneficiaries become full retirement age. The law does not allow a person to receive both retirement and disability benefits on one earnings record at the same time. We hope this helps!

  4. Penny J.

    I am planning to retire in July 2021, how long before then should I file for SS?

    • Vonda

      Thank you for your question, Penny. You can apply four months before you want your Social Security retirement benefits to start. Once you’re ready to apply, the easiest way to complete your application is online.

      If you need further assistance, call us at 1-800-772-1213 or you can contact your local Social Security office. Please look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

  5. Rosa P.

    When you retire and you don’t have enough credits, what happen to all the money you put in to social security and medicare?

    • Luis A.

      Hi Rosa. Thank you for your question. We use your total yearly earnings to figure your Social Security credits. Credits are the “building blocks” we use to find out whether a person has the minimum amount of covered work required to qualify for each type of Social Security benefits. No one needs more than 40 credits for any Social Security benefit. For more information, please visit our internet page titled Benefits Planner | Social Security Credits, and our publication titled “Understanding the Benefits.” Lastly, please read about the Supplemental Security Program (SSI) that you may qualify for, if you do not have enough Social Security credits. We hope this information is helpful.

  6. eduardo m.

    Hello I live with my elderly mother 92 years of age of legal resident status since August 2006. I am 62 1/2 years old and work in retail full time. I was wondering if there is a program to assist financially for her care. I have read that to get the SSI she would have had to be a legal resident since 1996? I thought about an early retirement but the financial reduction would take a toll in my income as it would be around $1500.00
    Thank you for any advice.

    Best regards.

  7. Charles B.

    Am I getting all SS benefits I.Am entitled o?

    • Vonda V.

      Hi Charles, thank you for your question. For your security, we do not have access to your benefit information in this venue. To inquire about your benefits, please call our toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). Representatives are available between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday or contact your local Social Security office.

  8. Robert

    I agree that SSI and DI should not be taxed. It’s hard enough to survive with what we get. How do we go about changing that Law? Is there a group of Lawyers willing to take on the Government? What do you think?

Comments are closed.