Know what you must have to be able to receive Social Security benefits.

To be eligible for Social Security retirement benefits you must be at least 62 years old and have 40 credits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) advises applying for benefits 4 months before the date you want them to start.

How do I get the 40 credits?

To get the right to receive Social Security retirement benefits you must have accumulated 40 credits. For each year you work and pay Social Security taxes, you accumulate 4 credits. To accumulate 40 credits you must have 10 years of work.

“The number of Social Security credits you need to qualify for retirement benefits depends on the year you were born. Everyone who was born after 1929 will need 40 Social Security credits (or 10 years of work), “explains Social Security.

On the other hand, the Social Security page explains that to accumulate the 40 credits, you do not have to have worked for 10 consecutive years.

“If you stop working before you have enough Social Security credits to get the right to apply for and receive Social Security benefits, the Social Security credits will remain on your Social Security record. If you later return to work, you can add more Social Security credits to get the right to apply for and receive Social Security benefits, ”says the agency.

How much will I be paid in retirement benefits?

To grant benefits, Social Security relies on the earnings you received during the time you were working and if you worked continuously. The SSA explains: “The higher your lifetime earnings, the higher the amount of your benefits. If you have a few years that you didn’t work or had low earnings, your benefit amount may be less than it would be if you had worked without interruptions. ”

Similarly, the age at which you decide to retire can influence the amount of money you receive. Since, according to the SSA, if you decide to retire at 62 years of age, the amount of money you will receive will be less than it would be if you had waited a few more years.

Social Security can cut you 27.5 percent if you apply for benefits at age 62 instead of age 66 and 6 months, the full retirement age. Conversely, if you decide to continue working after your 66th birthday, your Social Security benefits may increase. Since each additional year of work adds one year of earnings to the Social Security record, thereby increasing your lifetime earnings.

Benefits for couples

Social Security also provides benefits to the retired worker’s spouse or partner. Social Security reports: “A spouse who has not worked or who has low earnings may be entitled to up to half of the full benefit of the retired worker. If you are entitled to your own retirement benefits and spousal benefits, we always pay your own benefits first. ”

However, until the worker requests their retirement benefits, the spouse cannot receive the benefits that Social Security provides to the spouses. Similarly, Social Security provides benefits to former spouses. In other words, if your marriage lasted at least 10 years, you are over 62 years old and single, you could get Social Security benefits.

On the other hand, if for some reason you cannot receive Social Security retirement benefits, you may want to consider opening a retirement savings account such as an IRA or 401 (k).

1. TD Bank

With TD Bank You can open a traditional or Roth IRA to save for retirement. The TD Simple Savings IRA account offers direct deposit, has no monthly fees and has an interest of 0.05%. However, in order to open the account you need to make a minimum deposit of $ 300.

2. Ally

Ally is an online bank that offers IRA accounts with an interest that can start from 2.20% to 3.10% APY. For example, the Certificate of Deposit IRA has an interest rate of 2.75% APY for a one-year term and 3.10% for 5 years. The Certificate of Deposit IRA has no maintenance fees and does not require a minimum deposit to open.