Important Documents and Information to Have When You Retire

By on October 22, 2020
important documents

This is it; almost fifty years of hard work is just about over. Retirement is an exciting time for a lot of older generations. It means they can finally kick back and enjoy some things in life. If you are on the verge of retiring, you should know that you can file for your retirement benefits up to two months before your actual retirement date. To do that, you will need several important documents in hand as you head to the Social Security Administration’s office (or website, if you have a computer and internet service).

Your Social Security Card

This card has served you all of your working life. Every time you applied for a new job, you had to produce this card so that your employer could send Social Security taxes to SSA. You had to pay in too, but now you can start getting that back. You need your Social Security card to prove exactly who you are and help the agents find the correct Social Security account. (There may be dozens of people with your same name in the federal system and a middle name may not exclude all of them from your benefit claim. Your social security number, however, will exclude everyone with a duplicate name except you.)

Make sure you know exactly where this card is before you apply for your retirement benefits. If you can’t find your card, you might want to know how to report a lost social security card if you’re unable to find yours in time. Have a copy of your birth certificate and your driver’s license or state ID when you request a duplicate Social Security card to replace a card that is lost to the SSA.


Official Birth Certificate

In some states, an official birth certificate is required to file for benefits. That is because those states are attempting to prevent fraud and theft and an official birth certificate from the county in which you were born is an officially recognized document for proof of identity. If you don’t have one, go to the county courthouse in the county where you were born and acquire one.

State ID

A state ID is a picture format of official identification. It proves that you are who you say you are. It also helps the SSA process your state benefits in addition to your federal benefits without a hiccup. An ID or state-issued driver’s license is required for retirement benefits no matter what. An additional picture ID may also be required depending on where you reside.

A Passport

An official passport is an identifying document used to travel between countries. Not everyone has a passport, but if you do, bring it with you as an extra form of picture ID to prove you are who you say you are. If you plan to travel out of the country as part of your retirement plans, you will need to get a passport anyway.

Names and Addresses of Your Five Most Recent Employers

Sure, the SSA should already have all of these names and addresses of employers on file. However, having you confirm and verify them helps them confirm and verify your identity and claim to benefits. It also helps them uncover any employers who should have been paying Social Security taxes on payroll and maybe didn’t. You will also need to reveal if you have any additional savings, investments, pensions, etc., because some of these benefits may count against your allowed monthly benefits amount.

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Important Documents and Information to Have When You Retire