Friday, October 10, 2014

Social Security Estimate of Benefits - a valuable tool!

Many years ago, the Social Security administration did not mail benefit estimates. You had to visit one of their offices to learn what you might receive at retirement. Then in 1999 they began mailing them. With the advent of the Internet, they stopped mailing mid-2011 as a cost cutting measure. Now, by popular request, they will send the statements to those workers 25, 30, 35, etc. Every 5 years you will be mailed a statement until you are 60, then it will come every year.

What is so important about this statement?
It is a valuable financial planning tool that gives workers important information about their earnings, tax contributions and estimates for retirement, disability and survivor benefits!!

If your estimated benefits will pay you $1800 per month and you need $5000 a month to live, then you know you need to save enough to provide $3200 monthly.
It can be a real wake-up call to start saving! Every five years it can be a beneficial jolt to make you sit down and calculate if you are on track for retirement. The numbers may reveal that you must work longer than you planned.

You may view your benefits more frequently if you open a MySocialSecurity account online. Go to and input your SS number, mailing address and valid e-mail address. There will be security questions only you will know that match the information on file with SS.

With an online SS account you will receive an annual reminder to verify and update your information. It is critical to review your earnings as sometimes there may be errors. SS gives only a limited time to correct any earnings errors.

Be $ Smart - know your estimated SS benefits. Open a SS account online.