Social Security Statements

The Social Security Administration has announced that they will start to provide statements that highlight how much you can receive in benefits between ages 62 and 70. However, the SSA also has numerous online resources to help you:

  • Calculate benefits
  • Understand eligibility 

And more! 

Let’s review what your Social Security statement covers, and how to calculate your benefits. 

Understanding Your Full Retirement Age and Eligibility

The first step you can take to understand your Social Security benefits is to look up your full retirement age. According to the SSA, if you were born in 1929 or later, you need 40 credits (or 10 years of work) to qualify for Social Security benefits. The more you earn over the course of your career, the higher your benefits will be when you retire. For example, if you take several years off of work, your benefits may be lower than a worker who worked consistently full time from age 22-65. 

Another element that impacts your benefits is when you choose to retire. Early retirement is becoming increasingly popular, but it can reduce the total amount of Social Security benefits you receive over the course of your retirement. Waiting to retire until you’re at least age 62, and waiting to take your Social Security benefits until your “full retirement age”, can help to ensure you maximize your monthly benefit. Let’s look at when your full retirement age might be depending on when you were born:

(source: https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10035.pdf)

Checking Your Statement

According to the SSA, you can check your benefits statement at any time through their my Social Security portal. Through this online portal, you can register with your Social Security number to view:

  1. Your estimated disability and retirement benefits.
  2. The total number of credits you’ve accumulated - and how many more you need to qualify for benefits.
  3. Retirement readiness resources.
  4. A copy of your earnings record.
  5. Information about survivor benefits.
  6. Medicare information.

The SSA will also start to mail information to individuals aged 60 and older about claiming your benefits, however, they do still require you to log in to check your statement. 

Benefits Calculator

The SSA provides a retirement estimator on their website, as well. This calculator can help you to see a snapshot of estimated retirement benefits through the SSA, and how they compare depending on when you retire. 

Get Help

Social Security is one piece of your retirement puzzle. Creating a goals-based strategy for your retirement income can feel complex, but you don’t have to go it alone. We’re here to help! Feel free to contact us by clicking here. 

Wood Smith Advisors, a woman-owned Registered Investment Advisor (RIA), is a fee-only financial services firm that partners with its clients to simplify their financial lives. We focus on women, entrepreneurs, and individuals with complex financial situations, providing objective and competent advice, education and services to help them develop and build their businesses and reach their financial goals. We can be reached by clicking here.

"Finance Made Simple" blog posts are intended for educational purposes and not for specific advice. Each person’s situation is different. Consult your financial advisor for advice relating to topics discussed.

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