In the United States, the requirements for receiving a Social Security benefit are very clear. All seniors who want to start collecting retirement benefits have met the requirements in advance. Otherwise, the SSA will not issue a check. This is because a United States citizen is not eligible if he or she does not have several characteristics and fails to reach a minimum in certain aspects. Therefore, you should pay close attention to these details if you are thinking of applying for the retirement pension.
Anyone in the United States can apply for Social Security. This is true as long as you meet a minimum of these requirements. Even so, there are ways to increase the check up to the maximum of $4,194 per month. This is the maximum in 2022, so next year 2023 we will have a higher maximum because you have to add 8.7% to that check.
Who cannot receive a Social Security check?
People who are in the following situations cannot apply for a Social Security retirement check:
- Anyone who is under age 62. In order to receive a retirement check, you must be 62 years of age or older. This does not mean that at this age we have to apply for the check by obligation. We can do so, but we can also wait a little longer.
- Any worker who has worked less than 10 years. We cannot apply for a retirement check if we have not worked at least 10 years. In this sense, we are talking about 10 years of contributions in which we have paid taxes.
If a person is in one of these two situations, he/she will not be able to start collecting the Social Security check. Even so, requesting it at age 62 and having worked only 10 years, we will receive the smallest check possible. However, there are ways to increase this check.
Maximizing the pension check
To maximize this check it is necessary to take into account three fundamental aspects.
- Work as much as possible. The minimum number of years worked is 10, but the ideal is to work at least 35 years. Each year not worked below this figure will cause the average of our Social Security check to drop significantly.
- Delay retirement age. Being 62 years old is indispensable to start collecting Social Security, but it is not mandatory, as we have commented a little above. If we start retirement at 62, we will receive 30% less than the money we have contributed.
- Having a high salary. A high salary means having a larger Social Security check. The money contributed is key to having a good check in retirement.
So with this information we can now create a retirement plan that will help us have the best golden years possible.