Financial Assistance After Retirement: Social Security and Beyond

Most retirees desire a lifestyle after retirement that is similar to their lifestyle before retirement, although some hope to travel or engage in more hobbies now that they have more free time. In order to maintain a similar lifestyle, your expenses usually remain about the same. The Iowa State University Extension explains that some expenses may decrease after retirement, such as work related expenses and income taxes. However, some expenses may increase, such as health care expenses and expenses for recreational activities and travel, if you engage in those activities. If you’re lucky, those things will all even out, but even so, you’ll need to find a way to get the cash coming in since you’ll no longer earn a regular paycheck.

Social Security Retirement Benefits

Many retirees rely on Social Security retirement benefits, though in order to qualify, you must have worked and paid Social Security taxes in the past. The amount you can receive each month depends on how much you worked and the amount you paid in taxes in the past. You can request a statement online to find out how much you’ll receive when you retire https://secure.ssa.gov/apps6z/isss/main.html or telephone the Social Security Administration at 800-772-1213 to ask for a statement.

Supplemental Security Income

Supplemental Security Income provides monthly payments to some retirees that don’t qualify for Social Security retirement benefits. In order to qualify, you must have low income and limited resources such as savings. If you’re married, your spouse’s income will also be taken into consideration. Apply at your local Social Security Administration office https://secure.ssa.gov/apps6z/FOLO/fo001.jsp .

Pensions and Retirement Funds

Some retirees have pensions or retirement funds from their past employers. However, it seems people tend to stay at jobs for shorter amounts of time these days than in the past, so they may accumulate less money in retirement funds. Such funds do help supplement Social Security retirement benefits for a number of retirees, though. Contact your fund if you need information about when you’ll begin to receive benefits and how much you will receive.

Welfare Benefits

Welfare benefits for which retirees may qualify, if they have low incomes and limited assets, include food stamps, Medicaid, assistance with utility bills, assistance with transportation and help with rent. Apply for most welfare benefits at the welfare office in your county, but apply for housing assistance at your local public housing agency http://www.hud.gov/offices/pih/pha/contacts/ .

Sources:

Iowa State University Extension. http://www.extension.iastate.edu/publications/pm1818b.pdf . Retirement.

Social Security Administration. http://www.socialsecurity.gov/retire2/ . Plan Your.

Social Security Administration. http://www.ssa.gov/ssi/ . Supplemental Security Income (SSI).