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It seems that lately, there are always changes to our Social Security. It can be hard to keep up with what is new, and when you have a question, it can be difficult to reach anyone by phone. Most of the time, when you need to speak to someone at the Social Security office, you need to make an appointment to meet in person. Many people understand that before they go to the Social Security office, they should plan to be there for some time. That is why we have researched some of the most frequently asked questions and answers pertaining to Social Security and aging adults. We hope this will be more convenient for you. 

What is the maximum Social Security retirement benefit payable? 

Depending on the age you choose to retire will determine the amount of money you receive from Social Security. If people do not have other income coming in to support themselves, they may choose to work as long as possible. So, let’s say you decide to retire at your full retirement age of 70 in 2022, your maximum benefit would be $4,194. However, if you retire early at 62, your maximum benefit is significantly less at $2364. When ready to retire, you can go to the Social Security website and fill out the online retirement application. The application will let you know how much you put into your social security accounts over the years and calculate your payment based on when you choose to retire. It will give you a good idea on whether you should continue working or if you can afford to retire early. The retirement application is considered the easiest and most efficient way to apply for your retirement benefits. 

How do I earn Social Security credits, and how many are needed to qualify for benefits? 

The Social Security Administration uses your total yearly earnings to determine your Social Security credits. In 2022, the amount needed for credit is $1,510. You are allowed four credits for any year. As average wages increase, the amount needed will also increase, so you might want to check this figure every few years. You must earn a certain number of credits to qualify for Social Security benefits. The number of credits needed depends on the type of benefit you apply for and your age. No one needs more than 40 credits to receive their Social Security benefit. 

What earning types have special rules? 

Usually, Social Security earnings are calculated the same way for most Americans that worked throughout their life. However, there are some types of earnings that have additional rules. The earning types with special rules include the following: 

  • Farm Work 
  • Federal Government Housing 
  • Household Employment 
  • Military Service 
  • Nonprofit or Religious Organizations 
  • Railroad Earnings 
  • Self-Employment 
  • State and Local Government Employment Wages 
  • Work Outside the United States 

How important is it to monitor your earnings? 

If you want to be sure you receive all the money entitled to you when you are due to receive your Social Security benefits, you should be keeping up with exactly how much you are paid each paycheck and recording it. If your employer did not correctly report just one year of your work earnings to Social Security, your future payment could be almost $100 per month less than what it is supposed to be. 

We hope providing some Social Security answers helps clarify specific issues you may have been concerned about in your retirement. At Next Day Access, we care about our customers. Our goal is for each of our customers to live safely and independently at home as they age. While we do not work as benefit analysts, we offer many products like wheelchair ramps, scooters, vehicle lifts, and more to keep you safe and remain in your home as you age. Please do not hesitate to contact your nearest Next Day Access if you have questions or would like to schedule an in-home consultation. 

Many aging adults cannot wait for retirement. Then when retirement comes along, many often complain that they find themselves bored. Fortunately, there are many volunteer activities you can do to help you lead a more fulfilling life. 

In some cases, when an aging adult has recently lost a spouse or companion, this boredom can turn into depression. A recent article in AARP describes a woman in this exact situation. Her spouse passed away, and at 81 years old, she was still vivacious and active even though her diabetes wasn’t improving.

She talked of how she soon developed depression and began looking for a way to improve her situation. After looking at different available options, she decided to start volunteering. She researched available volunteer opportunities in her community using the Corporation for National Community & Service resource.

She states that once she began volunteering, it gave her a new lease on life. She felt essential to those she helped and began to enjoy life again. 

This woman is one of the millions of aging adults, age 65 and older, who transformed their life by volunteering. There is something for everyone. 

According to the Corporation for National Community & Service, some of the most popular volunteer activities for aging adults include: 

  • Making or collecting blankets or clothing. 
  • Mentoring youth or young couples. 
  • Teaching a trade or skill, or even working with individuals learning to read by teaching them. 
  • General labor including cleaning up portions of a street or park, working with Habitat for Humanity, and helping build homes. 
  • Fundraising for various charities. 
  • Serving, preparing, or distributing food to sheltered adults or low-income families. 

The list above is just a few examples of how aging adults choose to volunteer. It seems that volunteering is not only about helping others, but, in many ways, it also helps the volunteer. 

Why Aging Adults Should Consider Volunteering 

According to multiple studies aging adults who volunteer even tend to live longer. It turns out that volunteering has mental, physical, and social benefits for those that choose to volunteer. 

Social benefits 

Aging adults tend to isolate themselves. According to AARP, studies estimate that 17% of Americans aged 55 and older feel isolated from society. When we separate ourselves, we could have a greater likelihood of developing an illness. It takes courage but pulling yourself out of isolation can be very beneficial for physical and mental health. 

Physically good for you 

When you volunteer, you are getting out and being far more active than sitting at home. Inactivity, as you age, promotes the advancement of serious illnesses such as heart issues, joint pain, bone loss, and more. 

Help give back to the community 

Of course, giving back to the community seems the most obvious benefit, but currently, many communities have been harshly affected by bad weather, Covid, job loss, and more.

Many people are struggling and being able to help even one person means a lot to the community as it is often a trickle-down effect. Once people get back on their feet, they can help others, and so on. You may never know the impact you have while volunteering! 

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