If you plan to rely on Social Security in retirement, you should give careful thought to how your benefits will figure into your overall strategy.
Despite the fact that as of November 2022, more than 70 million Individuals were receiving Social Security benefits, eligibility is not guaranteed.
Applying for Retirement Income
You need 40 quarters of coverage or credits and be at least 62 years old to qualify for retirement payments.
These credits are only available to those who work and contribute to the Social Security system. Employee taxes are the primary means by which Social Security is financed.
If you want to qualify for your own benefits, you’ll have to put in your own time and money and earn a paycheck. Quarters of coverage are used by the Social Security Administration to determine how much you have contributed.
Each year in 2023, you can accrue a maximum of four credits, equating to one quarter of coverage for every $1,640 in income. In order to be eligible for retirement payments, you must have 40 quarters of coverage if you were born after 1928.
Because you can only earn four quarters of coverage per year, it will take you at least 10 years to meet the minimum requirement of 40 credits. However, you don’t have to work for a full decade or even four quarters of every year to earn those credits.
If you earn $6,560 in 2023, you will be eligible for four quarters of coverage because coverage is awarded solely based on income. Don’t worry about it.
Retirement Income From Social Security
To receive retirement benefits from Social Security, you need 40 quarters of coverage. The SSA will not award you with retirement benefits even if you are just one-fourth short.
Therefore, it is essential to sign up for a mySocialSecurity account at ssa.gov and keep tabs on your income.
If you have less than 40 quarters of insurance, you may not be eligible for retirement benefits, but you may be entitled to disability compensation.
You only need six credits in the three years prior to the onset of your impairment, for example, if you are younger than 24. The incapacity must have affected your life for at least 20 years. But you must have a disability, period.
Even if you haven’t yet reached retirement age, you can open a mySocialSecurity account to estimate your monthly benefit. After signing in, you can view your estimated future benefit amount that is calculated using your actual earnings history.