Last week, I received my annual reminder from the Social Security Administration to check my online statement. Took me a few days to get back to that email, and after a few attempts to remember the password, I finally got into the site.
I reviewed my potential future social security benefits and it reminded me how important this social program is for one’s retirement. So, it is surprising to me the number of conversations I have with individuals that have not taken the time to check out their own benefit.
This can be a first step in developing a retirement income strategy: understanding your social security benefits
Once you login and view the site, I would encourage to click on “Estimated Benefits” to evaluate the ages you can claim the benefit, and how each impacts the benefit amount.
HERE IS WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE…
You have earned enough credits to qualify for retirement benefits. At your current earnings rate, your estimated payment would be:
At full retirement age (67): also known as FRA; this may differ if born before 1960
At age 70: Waiting until age 70 will produce the highest possible benefit – potentially up to 32% higher than claiming at FRA.
At early retirement age (62): This is the earliest you can claim. There is a reduction of 25% of your benefit if you claim early.
REMEMBER THIS: Social Security benefits are not intended to be your sole source of income when you retire. On average, Social Security will replace about 40 percent of your annual pre-retirement earnings. You will need other savings, investments, pensions, or retirement accounts to make sure you have enough money to live comfortably when you retire.
Social Security is a key part of retirement income for most people. When you decide to claim is a major decision that will have a long-lasting impact on you and your family. Be sure to consider how long you may live, your financial capacity to defer benefits, and the impact it may have on your survivors. We will save these considerations for future posts.
For now, check out the site… (once you login you will no longer receive mailed statements), see your options, and start planning for that dream retirement…
Here is the link to the site:
To view your most recent Statement, please visit www.socialsecurity.gov/reviewyourstatement and sign in to your account.