Prepare now to retire


Published: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 at 2:48 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 at 2:48 p.m.

Do you plan to begin receiving Social Security retirement benefits early in 2013? If so, now is the time to prepare. We recommend you apply up to four months before you want your retirement benefits to begin.

These days, you no longer need to travel to an office or wait in line to apply for benefits. You can do it from your home or office computer. The Social Security website at www.socialsecurity.gov makes the process easy and convenient.

You can complete your application for retirement benefits in as little as 15 minutes.

In most cases, after you submit your online application electronically, that's all you have to do.

Not ready to retire yet? Perhaps you want to plan ahead and begin considering your options regarding when to retire. In that case, you will want to visit the Social Security website to use our convenient and informative retirement planner at www.socialsecurity.gov/retire2. Here, you can find out just how close you are to meeting your financial goals and then "bookmark" the website to apply for retirement benefits whenever you are ready.

We encourage citizens at any stage in their working career to use the Retirement Estimator for an instant, personalized estimate of future retirement benefits. Find it at www.socialsecurity.gov/estimator.

Kay Louder is the district manager of the Social Security office in Gainesville.

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