As many as 1 in 3 Americans have nothing saved for retirement. Many hope Social Security will cover all their costs once they retire. But for a majority of families, Social Security alone is not enough. It’s important to get an idea now of what your estimated Social Security benefits will be so you can plan realistically for your financial future.
Opening a “my Social Security” account is the place to start tracking your earnings and managing your benefits. April is National Social Security Month and USAGov has four reasons why signing up for an account now will help you later:
Accurate records could mean higher Social Security benefits. Your “my Social Security” account shows the amount of money you earn each year pre-retirement. Because the Social Security benefits you’ll receive when you retire are based on those earnings, if the records are wrong, you may not get all you’re entitled to. Getting into the habit of checking your Social Security earnings record annually for mistakes means you won’t have to worry about it later when you’re ready to retire.
You can calculate the best age to retire. Your “my Social Security” account will show you the estimated amount of monthly benefits you’ll receive at different retirement ages (early, full retirement age, or later). Starting benefits early at 62 will reduce the amount you get; delaying until 70 will increase the amount you’ll receive. Knowing these numbers will help you have a realistic picture of what to expect so you can plan accordingly.
Staying aware of your estimated Social Security benefits is a good reality check. Social Security is designed to make up only a limited percentage of your pre-retirement income. Knowing your estimated benefits now can motivate you to invest and save to help make up the difference between your future Social Security benefits and the amount you will need to retire more comfortably.
You can manage your benefits without having to wait in line at a Social Security office. If you’re currently receiving retirement or disability benefits, a “my Social Security” account can give you the freedom to check your benefit and payment information, start or change direct deposit of your benefits, update your address and other information, get a replacement Social Security or Medicare card, and more. And if you’re a new applicant, you can check your application status too.
Sign-up today for your “my Social Security” account.
Get answers about Social Security
Do you have questions about “my Social Security” accounts or general Social Security benefits? Join USAGov and the Social Security Administration on April 20 at 7:00 PM ET for a Facebook Live event.
You’ll get tips, suggestions, and advice, along with answers to your questions about benefits, planning, and more. To participate, follow USA.gov and Social Security on Facebook or follow the event. And for specific questions about your Social Security account and benefits, visit SSA.gov or contact your local Social Security office.