You lost your Social Security card. The card itself is not much of one. Thieves could use your Social Security number to apply for new credit cards in your name, racking up debt without you even realizing. You are entitled to one free credit report from each of the three national credit bureaus — Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion — each year. A simple fix if there's no evidence of identity theft If you want a new Social Security card, you may be able to apply for a replacement on the Social Security Administration's website. If you don't meet the criteria for an online application, you can submit an application for a replacement card in person or by mail to your local Social Security office. What if you're a victim of identity theft? If you have evidence that someone else is using your Social Security number, you can request a new Social Security number from the Social Security Administration. For example, your evidence could be a credit report listing several credit cards that you've never applied for. Or, evidence could be a letter from the IRS informing you that your income tax filings were rejected because someone else already filed them.
One of the most challenging aspects of Social Security is picking the proper time to claim benefits. While it is possible to take benefits as early as age 62, doing so will result in a reduced monthly payout. On the flip side, waiting until age 70 to claim would result in the largest monthly check possible, but you’d also miss out on years of monthly payments had you decided to file early.
For some, the easiest solution to this conundrum is to simply claim benefits as soon as they reach full retirement age. For those born after 1960, that number is set at age 67. Below are a few scenarios in which claiming at this age might make the most sense.
You are not in desperate need of money
The primary reason that most Social Security recipients choose to file early is that they have an immediate need for the money. Perhaps they were laid off late in life and have struggled to find a new job. Or maybe they got hit with an unexpected medical bill that has thrown a wrench into their financial plan. Regardless of the reason, if their monthly expenses exceed their income, it can make sense to file as soon as possible in order to give themselves some financial wiggle room.
However, if your financial situation is stable because you are still in the workforce, it can make sense to simply wait until you reach your full retirement age to claim. The reason is that the government will actually reduce your Social Security benefits if you choose to claim early.
For 2017, the rules state that your benefits will be reduced by $1 for every $2 that you earn above $16,920 per year if you are younger than full retirement age for the entire year. For those who will reach full retirement age at some point during 2017, the government will deduct $1 from your benefits for each $3 you…