Last updated: July 02. 2014 8:37PM - 135 Views
By Brenda Brown Contributing Columnist

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It’s summertime, and that means it’s time for popcorn, snacks and blockbuster movies on the silver screen. Have you noticed that many of the heroes in theaters this year seem to be of a certain age? In fact, some of them are old enough they could easily be getting Social Security retirement benefits even as they continue to work — saving the world or otherwise.

These days, retirement isn’t what it used to be. Modern-day retirees are more likely to be traveling, volunteering and being active — even continuing to work — while collecting retirement benefits. That’s likely the case with many of the actors we’ll see in this year’s movies.

Take “The Expendables 3.” Expendables Sylvester Stallone, Harrison Ford and Arnold Schwarzenegger are all old enough to be eligible for retirement benefits.

Captain America returned to the big screen this year. Even though he’s still out saving the world, he first appeared on the job in a comic book in 1941, making him a likely candidate for collecting Social Security retirement payments.

Spider-Man, also back on the big screen this summer, is a little younger, first appearing in 1962. But he is old enough to plan for his retirement by using our retirement estimator at www.socialsecurity.gov/estimator.

And although he’s not old enough for retirement yet, it’s likely he could get disability benefits, along with Rhino, Electro and the Green Goblin. Their conditions are all expected to last more than a year.

Another group with unusual conditions: the X-Men, returning to the big screen for the summer. Professor X and Magneto are surely old enough to receive full retirement. In addition to X-Men like Wolverine and Beast, there are a number of X-Women — such as Mystique, Storm, Rogue and Kitty Pryde — who could possibly qualify for Social Security benefits. While none of them appear old enough to apply for retirement, they should consider applying for disability benefits given their severe conditions.

If any of these on-screen heroes and villains need advice on the best way to apply for benefits, perhaps Johnny Depp could lead the way. In his new film “Transcendence,” he finds himself online — literally.

How long does it take to apply for benefits online? This year’s “Fast and Furious 7” seems slow by comparison. You can complete and submit the online application for benefits in as little as 15 minutes from start to finish.

Brenda Brown is a public affairs specialist for the Social Security Administration based in Fayetteville, N.C.

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