Social Security Statements Just Got Easier: How Can I Get a Copy For Retirement Planning?

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The Social Security Statement just got a revamp, and your information is now easier to find than ever.

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To clarify, this is not the statement you receive once you have already started receiving Social Security benefits. Your Social Security Statement is available to any adult worker who does not receive benefits. This type of statement is unique to your working history and gives estimates of future Social Security benefits that you might receive each month. You will also be able to access your earnings history.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) states that it is crucial to review this record for errors so that if or when you spot one, you can have it corrected. This will ensure that you receive all of the benefits owed to you. For example, the SSA could have — on their records, at least — that you earned $55,000 this year and last, but in actuality your earnings were closer to $65,000. This will result in a lower benefit to you, even though you might have already paid the taxes based on a larger earnings base — and such an error requires correction. Your online statement will show you how to make such a correction.

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The revamped statement is now more streamlined and easier to understand. The SSA states it has divided the information into easily readable sections, like different types of benefits, allowing individuals to quickly reference all materials. There is also a new bar chart illustrating your personalized Social Security benefit estimates based on nine different ages — depending on when you want to start your retirement. Information like this is crucial in making retirement decisions such as claiming retirement benefits at age 62 versus eight year later, at age 70.

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There are also fact sheets tailored to your specific age group and individual earnings in the online statement. These fact sheets offer advice and tips on how to save for the future — or how to avoid Medicare penalties based on what stage you’re at in life.

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About the Author

Georgina Tzanetos is a former financial advisor who studied post-industrial capitalist structures at New York University. She has eight years of experience with concentrations in asset management, portfolio management, private client banking, and investment research. Georgina has written for Investopedia and WallStreetMojo. 

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