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Applying for SS Benefits
Old 10-02-2019, 06:40 AM   #1
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Applying for SS Benefits

I have a few questions regarding applying for Social Security benefits. According to our plan my wife was to retire this last July and I on 3/2/2020. I am 62 and the wife is 64. That plan called for me to start SS at the age of 70 and my wife at 64 and 8 months. We changed the plan slightly as my wife did retire in July and I will retire a little earlier than planned, this December. We will start my wifeís SS the first of the year. My questions are:

Should my wife apply for her SS benefit online or is there any benefit applying at a SS office and sitting down and talking with a SS rep.

My wife will be eligible for Medicare on 7/27/20. Can we apply for that when we are applying for SS or must we wait until the date gets closer.

Is there any benefit to what day of the month we receive her SS benefit? Do we even have a choice?

Any other thoughts are appreciated. Thank you for your time.

Russ
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Old 10-02-2019, 07:04 AM   #2
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I believe she can apply for SS online, and can do it 3 months prior to when she wants it to start. This is from the SSA.gov website: "The earliest age at which you can begin receiving your Social Security retirement benefits is 62. You can apply for your benefits 3 months before you turn 62 if you want your payments to start at that age"

From Medicare.gov: "When Should You Apply for Medicare? In most cases, you should apply for Medicare when you turn 65. The open enrollment period starts three months before the month you turn 65 and extends three months past the month you turn 65, giving you a seven-month window."

SS checks start ~2 months after you turn whatever age you want them to start. And you get no choice in the date they are deposited. They tell you, and you will like it.

All this info is available online.

https://www.medicare.gov/sign-up-cha...-with-medicare

https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/retirement

Google is also pretty darned helpful. Hope my answer was as well!
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Old 10-02-2019, 07:06 AM   #3
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Not an expert, but just based on my experience -

You can apply online. It's easy and usually goes smoothly.

You don't get to choose the date to receive the direct deposit, it's based on your birthday.

If you are already taking your SS benefit Medicare will start automatically, including the payment deducted from your benefit. I'm not there yet, so correct me if I'm wrong.

From my own experience, if you apply online direct your deposit to a brick and mortar bank checking account if you have one. My application was flagged as possible fraud because I directed my payment to an online savings account. I was required to go to a SS office and show a photo ID and confirm that I wanted to use an online savings account. After that it all went smoothly. You can easily change your bank info later if you want.
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Old 10-02-2019, 07:12 AM   #4
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I applied online for SS for me and DW. It was pretty easy.

SS is paid in arrears and is not paid for partial months. I was eligible in July but that is a partial month. So I was paid in September for August. DW's payment hits our account on the 3rd Wednesday of each month. Mine is 2nd Wednesday.

If you are already receiving SS at age 65 you will automatically be enrolled in Medicare.
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Old 10-02-2019, 07:19 AM   #5
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Super simple to file for SS online. If they have any questions they will contact you and/or have you go to a local office. Same with Medicare.

I just applied for mine to be effective Oct 1(a few month before FRA). I anticipate the first check to be in the middle of November. I believe mine is the 2nd Wednesday of the month.

Don't fall for the fear that they will screw things up 'cause its the govt.

All our dealings with federal "retirement benefits". 2 Medicare application, 1 Civil service pension, 1 SS application and a couple of interactions with the Pension Benefit Guarantee have been very professionally done and quite easy.

I've never had an issue with Vanguard either so YMMV.
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Old 10-02-2019, 08:09 AM   #6
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I applied online for DW Medicare last year and SS this year. Only issue was Medicare used 2016 income to figure IRMAA and that was a banner year for us, income wise. I had to make a couple contacts and send in a copy of 2017 1040 to get an IRMAA based on realistic MAGI. For Medicare they sent a bill each month which I paid with online bill pay. Once SS started, they started taking monthly from SS for Medicare without any actions on my part. For SS applied online and then got a phone call to ensure the facts like start date were accurate, told the amount of monthly benefit and answered any questions.



One thing I missed was having taxes withheld from SS when applying. I had to go back in and file form for that. Not sure if others have withholding but it works for me. I would check numbers for both as your DW (and you) will fit into some neat bucket which may not match your view on expected. My experience only, both SS and Medicare phone contacts have been professional. I explained what the issue was and was either told they would make a change or it was explained to me why it was the way it was.
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Old 10-02-2019, 09:22 AM   #7
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Thanks for all your responses. I am thinking I will apply online and forgo a trip to SS. I always get something from these responses that I might not have found in an Internet search.
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Old 10-02-2019, 10:31 AM   #8
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I applied online. Then got a phone call from them saying they had to talk to me before benefits would start.
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