Check your social security credits, it's pretty easy to do. Also the "quarters" definition is misleading, because each "quarter" you only need to earn about 1500 USD (2022) and so if you earn 6000 USD in month (and that is all for that year), they do funny math and can count it as 4 quarters. So you really need to look up what the social security administration has calculated for you. If you are close, say within a couple of years, you could do something like that- work a couple of months each year for a couple of years, get 8 credits (verify how they are doing the calulations, and not sure they did it in the past the same way, it's not straightforward). The system is slanted towards lower-wage workers so people who didn't earn that much don't get all that much less than somewhat higher-wage workers. So you might get a few hundred USD a month, enough to make it worth getting to the 40 quarters.