Did you know that according to the Social Security Administration, most workers are eligible for Social Security benefits, but not all? For example, until 1984, federal government employees were part of the Civil Service Retirement System and were not covered by Social Security.
Did you know that if you were born in 1929 or later, you need to work for 10 or more years to be eligible for benefits?
Did you know benefits are based on an individual's average earnings during a lifetime of work under the Social Security system? The calculation is based on the 35 highest years of earnings. If an individual has years of low or no earnings, Social Security may count those years to bring the total years to 35.
Did you know Social Security is a major source of retirement income for 62% of current retirees?
Did you know Social Security benefits are subject to federal income taxes?
To plan for a comfortable retirement, you need the right information to help you make the best decision. The Social Security's online tools give immediate personalized estimates that use your actual work history to calculate your social security benefit. You can run different scenarios to estimate future earnings and retirement ages.
As National Social Security Month comes to a close, we wanted to highlight some features of a personal “my Social Security account” through the Social Security Administration or SSA. The online account is free and and easy to set up. It provides personalized tools for everyone, whether you receive benefits or not.
You can use your “my Social Security account” to:
- Request a replacement Social Security card
- Manage the benefits you already receive
- View your Earnings Record
- Confirm you have enough credits to receive benefits
- Set up or change direct deposit for current benefits
- Get a proof of income letter
- Change your address
- Check the status of your Social Security application, check the status of a claim or appeal,
- Get a Social Security 1099 form (SSA-1099)
- Apply for disability
- Apply for Medicare benefits
You will also see your estimated benefits based on your work history. You should review your “Earnings Record” to verify the years you worked and paid into Social Security. Some people may see zero’s here for years they did not have earnings or for years they did not pay into social security. It is important to login and check these numbers annually as these statements are mailed infrequently.
Many financial advisors will request these documents when helping you plan for your future. The best way to verify your numbers are correct, is to review your Earnings Record regularly. Most financial plans will include your social security benefits along with any other fixed income sources. Make sure your financial advisor updates these regularly and is up to date on the strategies social security allows.
Thomas Jefferson once said, "Knowledge is power."
Create a “my social Security account” and make sure you know your numbers! Visit www.ssa.gov/myaccount today!