In the past, the only information most people got about their future Social Security benefits came once a year via snail mail. Now, thanks to updates from the Social Security Administration, finding out what Social Security will pay you in retirement just got a lot easier.
At the SSA's my Social Security website, which launched in early January, you can review your Social Security information at any time to make sure you're on track to get the benefits you've earned. And while you're at it, take advantage of many other useful services.
Take a Look at Your Financial Future
On the website, you can get current projections of how much your retirement, disability, and survivors' benefits will be, based on assumptions that your future earnings will remain in line with your lifetime average income. You can also see how taking early retirement or deferring your benefits until beyond your normal retirement age will change the amounts you entitled to receive.
One key thing to do is to check for errors that could reduce your benefits. Look at your earnings record to make sure the SSA's figures match up with what you actually earned, since if they're different, you won't get full credit for the Social Security taxes you've paid into the system.
Get Proof When You Need It
The other useful thing my Social Security lets you do is to obtain a benefit verification letter to help you get a loan or demonstrate eligibility for other government programs.
Since Social Security is often the only source of income for retirees, proving that income is often the only way to get credit. In addition, the letter can verify age, Medicare coverage, and current retirement or disability status.
Setting up an account over the Internet is easy. To avoid identity theft, the SSA will require you to provide personal information that only you have access to. Once you provide this information, you'll have around-the-clock access to the website's Social Security tools, which also let you handle basic administrative tasks like changing your contact information or setting up direct deposit for your benefits.
Get Your Social Security Checkup Today
Checking your Social Security statement at least annually is a smart part of your financial checkup. Sign up for an online my Social Security account today and get the latest on how the government will help you have a secure retirement.