Ready to Retire? Apply Online with Social Security

older woman looks at tablet computer

It’s never too early to start planning for retirement and Social Security (SSA) online tools can help. Go to to access your personal mySocial Security account to get an estimate of your retirement benefits based on your earnings record. Once you have an account, you can use SSA’s Plan for Retirement tool to see how your benefits can change at different ages. Don’t have a personal mySocial Security account? You can create one at

You can also use your personal mySocial Security account to see your entire work history and make sure all your wages are recorded correctly. SSA bases your benefit amount on reported earnings. If you find any errors in your work history, read the factsheet, How to Correct Your Social Security Earnings Record.

When you’re ready to apply for Social Security retirement benefits, you can complete SSA’s online application in as little as 15 minutes at A SSA representative will contact you if further information is needed. You can check the status of your application using your personal account.

You can apply online for Social Security retirement benefits, or benefits as a spouse, if you:

  • Are age 62.
  • Are not currently receiving benefits on your own Social Security record.
  • Have not already applied for retirement benefits.
  • Want your benefits to start no later than four months in the future. (SSA cannot process your application if you apply for benefits more than four months in advance).

Note: If you were born on the first or second day of the month, you meet this requirement in the month of your 62nd birthday. If you were born on any other day of the month, you do not meet this requirement until the following month.

Find out more about retirement benefits at

Contributor Kirk Larson is the Social Security Administration Public Affairs Specialist for the Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington region.

This article appeared in the June 2024 issue of AgeWise King County.