News From Terre Haute, Indiana

January 25, 2010

A New Year’s resolution to keep: Apply for Social Security online

By Brian Hewitt

Many Americans begin each new year with a list of resolutions and goals. You may want to go on a diet, shed a little weight, do a bit more exercising, or clean out the long-neglected attic. The trouble is these well-intended goals often melt away long before winter’s snow does.

So why not make a resolution that’s easier to keep? If applying for retirement benefits is on your list of things to do this year, resolve to do it online. To get started, visit www.socialsecurity.gov/applyonline.

Visiting a Social Security office to apply for benefits is no longer necessary. You’ll save time, energy, and resources by filing your application from the comfort and convenience of your home or office computer. In fact, it can take as little as 15 minutes to complete your retirement application. How’s that for an easy resolution to keep?

We fully understand that filing for retirement is not a decision to be taken lightly and there may be some reluctance to file online for fear of making a mistake or a poor decision. If this is a concern, when filing online, you should state your desire to be contacted by a Social Security representative. You will be contacted by telephone to discuss your claim in detail before your claim is processed.

Of course, not everyone is ready to retire. So here is another resolution that is easy to keep. If you’re only dreaming of retirement now, why not turn those daydreams into concrete plans for your future retirement goals? Just use our online Retirement Estimator. Plug in some basic information and you’ll instantly get a personalized estimate of your future retirement benefits. It’s another easy resolution to keep and will take only a few minutes. Try it out now at www.socialsecurity.gov/estimator.

Whether you’re already getting Social Security retirement benefits or just beginning to work, Social Security offers a number of services and a wealth of information online at www.socialsecurity.gov. For a specific list of online services available, visit www.socialsecurity.gov/onlineservices.

So as we enter the new decade, make a resolution to set goals you can keep. Apply online for Social Security benefits or plan your retirement.