Thursday, June 16, 2022

How Can I Lookup My Social Security Benefits

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Request For A Social Security Statement

What is my Social Security?

If you dont want to wait for your Social Security Statement to be mailed to you, you may sign up to get your Social Security Statement online. You also may be able to estimate your retirement benefit using our online Retirement Estimator.

If you would like to receive your Social Security Statement by mail, please print and complete a “Request For Social Security Statement” and mail it to the address provided on the form.

You should receive your paper Social Security Statement in the mail in four to six weeks.

If you were unable to create or encountered a problem with your mySocial Security account, you may visit a local office or call 1-800-772-1213 for help.

If Your Income Triggers Taxes On Your Benefits

You can lose benefits to taxes, depending on how much you earn in retirement.

If your income is more than $25,000 as an individual or more than $32,000 as a married couple filing jointly, you’ll owe federal taxes on a portion of your benefits. The portion could be 50% or 85% based on your income level.

“Income” in this case is defined as the sum of your adjusted gross income, your nontaxable interest and half of your annual Social Security. Thirteen states apply taxes to Social Security benefits, too.

Receiving Social Security Payments

Social Security benefits are only paid out electronically you will not receive a Social Security check in the mail. You can either receive a direct deposit into your bank account or opt for a prepaid debit card. When you apply to receive your Social Security benefits, you will have the chance to provide your account number and the routing number of your bank or credit union.

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You Can Still Get A Paper Social Security Statement

If you hate the idea of accessing your Social Security information online, theres still a way to get a paper statement. All you have to do is fill out Form SSA-7004 Request for Social Security Statement. After the Social Security Administration receives the form, you should expect to get a Social Security statement in four to six weeks.

You Need To Pay Down Debt

Ask Bob: How Do I Access My Application for Social ...

There are some debts you need to tackle before you retire. If you have high-interest debt, claiming Social Security early can help you pay the debt down. Depending on the interest rate you’re paying, the 8% yearly boost to your benefits that you receive for each year you wait past full retirement age might not be worth the increased monthly benefit. Using the early benefits to reduce or eliminate your debt earlier could mean you’ll be able to keep more of your benefits in the future.

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What Are Other Tips I Can Use For Detecting Phishing Emails

  • Verify the sender. Exercise caution when receiving email from a sender you dont know or havent heard from in a long time. Hover over the From email address to ensure it matches the displayed email or name of the sender.
  • Look for poor choices in wording, phrasing, or spelling.
  • If an email includes a business name, telephone number, or website link, verify the legitimacy of these items by searching for the official number or website in a search engine.
  • Do not respond to emails requesting personal information. Reputable businesses and public agencies will not ask you for personal information in an email.

You Have A Shorter Life Expectancy

The government incentivizes waiting to collect your Social Security benefits by giving you a larger monthly amount the longer you delay. For example, if you start collecting benefits at age 62 when your full retirement age is 66, your monthly benefit will be about 75% of your full-age benefit. So if you expected your monthly benefit to be $1,000 per month at 66, you would only receive around $750 at 62.

Although a larger monthly benefit might sound great, keep in mind that you’d have to wait four years to get that extra $250 per month. You would receive $36,000 during those four years at the reduced amount of $750 per month.

When you start collecting $1,000 at age 66, that extra $250 per month won’t let you break even for 12 years compared to collecting early. If your health is declining and you don’t expect to live until you’re 78, you’ll receive more in benefits during your lifetime if you start claiming as soon as possible.

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How To Check If Someone Else Is Using Your Social Security Number

The rise of technology has brought new threats to your personal data and its security. Identity theft is a crime that strikes at the heart of a modern citizens wealth, employment, social services, and more. Our identity specifically, the electronically-encoded identity that serves as the gateway to our bank accounts, to our home security systems, to our e-mail and network resources can be stolen by unscrupulous people and used for crimes great and small.

At best, an identity thief may use part of your identity as the launchpad for some phony persona that they are using to commit acts of fraud and light scams. At worst, they can drain your bank accounts, destroy your credit rating, and wipe out your hard-earned retirement benefits. Identity theft is not a minor crime in 2018, more than 60 million Americans reported that they were affected by identity theft.

How Does The Social Security Administration Calculate Benefits

How to look up your Social Security statement online

Benefits also depend on how much money youâve earned in life. The Social Security Administration takes your highest-earning 35 years of covered wages and averages them, indexing for inflation. They give you a big fat âzeroâ for each year you donât have earnings, so people who worked for fewer than 35 years may see lower benefits.

The Social Security Administration also makes annual Cost of Living Adjustments, even as you collect benefits. That means the retirement income you collect from Social Security has built-in protection against inflation. For many people, Social Security is the only form of retirement income they have that is directly linked to inflation. Itâs a big perk that doesnât get a lot of attention.

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How To Get A Social Security Card

  • Gather your documents. Learn what documents you’ll need to get a card. Select your situation:
  • Adult or child
  • Original, replacement, or corrected card
  • U.S. born citizen, foreign born U.S. citizen, or noncitizen
  • Apply online for a replacement card. Apply online if youre not changing anything on your card and you are eligible. This option is available in most states. You will need to make a my Social Security account first. Or complete an application. If you can not apply online, fill out an application and return it to the SSA. Find out where to take it in person or mail it.
  • How Does Divorce Affect Your Social Security Benefits

    Its important to understand your projected social security benefits so you can incorporate that into your divorce financial planning.

    You should be sure to obtain a social security benefit statement early on to begin preparing for divorce.

    If your marriage lasted at least 10 years, you can collect on your ex-spouses record if you meet the following requirements:

    • You are unmarried
    • You are age 62 or older
    • Your ex-spouse is entitled to Social Security retirement or disability benefits
    • The benefit you are entitled to receive based on your own work is less than the benefit you would receive based on your ex-spouses work.

    If you meet these requirements, you can first become entitled to receive full or unreduced benefits when you reach full retirement age.

    Full retirement age will vary based on what year you were born, but in all cases, you must be at least 62 years old to receive benefits.

    At full retirement age, the highest benefit you can receive for an ex-spouses record is 50%.

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    How Do I Increase My Social Security Benefits After Retirement

    To increase your monthly benefit, don’t start taking Social Security payments right when you reach full retirement age. The longer you wait, the more you’ll get each month. If you want to get the highest possible amount of Social Security benefits each month, you need to wait until age 70 to retire.

    If You Take A Spousal Benefit Too Soon

    Your Social Security check will get a 2.8% boost in 2019

    Spousal benefits can be a good deal for couples with lopsided incomes, or if one spouse never worked. The lower-earning partner can receive up to 50% of the monthly benefit that the high earner has coming at full retirement.

    But to receive the maximum spousal benefit, you have to wait until your own full retirement age. If you claim a spousal benefit early say at 62 you may receive as little as 32.5% of your better half’s benefit.

    The only time this scenario makes sense is when the higher earner decides not to take Social Security until age 70, to collect the ultra-largest benefit. During that wait, the other partner’s early spousal benefit can bring some Social Security money into the household.

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    Primary Insurance Amount Calculation

    For 2022, the SSA established the first bend point as $1,024 and the second bend point as $6,172. Using the AIME from the earlier example of $10,141 and the bend points, we can calculate the primary insurance amount .

    Below are the steps to calculating the PIA:

    • Multiply the first $1,024 of the person’s AIME by 90% = $921.60
    • Subtract the 1st and 2nd bend point and multiply that difference by 32% = $5,148*.32 = $1,647.35*
    • Subtract the 2nd bend point amount from the total AIME amount and multiply the difference by 15%. = $3,969*.15 = $595.35

    *Please note that the calculation results are required to be rounded down to the next lower multiple of 10 cents.

    • The PIA is the sum of the three calculation results: = $3,164.30

    *The multipliers90%, 32%, and 15%are set by law and do not change annually. The bend points are inflation-indexed but only through age 62. PIA is effectively locked in at age 62.

    How To Value Your Benefits

    Suppose youll receive $1,500 a month from Social Security beginning at age 66. Each year, that $1,500 a month can be expected to go up a little if the cost of living measured by the consumer price index increases.

    Now, suppose youll live another 20 years. How much is that income stream worth?

    You can answer that question by taking the present value of that stream of cash flow. To pay yourself $1,500 a month increasing at 2% a year for 20 years, youd need $263,977 in the bank earning a 5% annual rate of return. Youd need $348,535 if you live for 30 years.

    And if you assume that youre using safe investments, earning 2% instead of a portfolio earning 5%the same rate of assumed inflation at which your income increases each yearyou would then need $352,941 in the bank for the income to last 20 years. Youd need $529,411 for it to last 30 years.

    A $1,500 per month, your Social Security benefit is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars at a minimum, and that doesnt factor in ancillary benefits like spousal benefits or survivor benefits.

    Read Also: Can You Get Disability If You Are On Social Security

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    If Your Identity Is Stolen

    Social Security numbers have become a bigger target for hackers than credit card numbers, according to Javelin Research. Numerous attempts have been made at breaching the Social Security website, and 58,000 allegations of fraud were logged over three recent years.

    Identity thieves pose as real beneficiaries and attempt to claim their Social Security money. If a victim delays filing for benefits, the theft might go undiscovered for years.

    Protect yourself by creating a mySocialSecurity account at Check it regularly for suspicious activity. You can hold the account long before you’re ready to claim benefits.

    Your Social Security Card

    How Do I Apply For My Social Security Retirement Benefits Online – Documents Needed To Apply For SSI

    Whether youve lost your social security card or someone an acquaintance used the number, this is another common way that someone has obtained this information. Keeping your social security card safe, not keeping it in your wallet, and making sure that no one can get to it is another way to protect your identity.

    Also Check: How Do They Determine How Much Social Security You Get

    You’re Planning Your End

    Your Social Security benefits stop paying at your death, so if you die prior to collecting benefits, you’ll have missed out on benefits entirely. You need to figure out how to maximize your Social Security income, instead. For example, say you’re planning to wait until age 70 so you can claim the larger monthly benefit. If you die right before your 70th birthday, you won’t receive any benefits. It’s very difficult to predict how long you’ll live, especially if you’re in good health now. However, if you are suffering from a terminal or serious illness, the increased monthly benefit for delaying Social Security might not be worth it.

    Tips For Social Security And Retirement Planning

    • Developing smart Social Security strategies is just one aspect of savvy financial planning. An advisor whos well-versed in Social Security can offer guidance to help you make the most of your benefits. SmartAssets free tool matches you with financial advisors in your area in 5 minutes. If youre ready to be matched with local advisors that will help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
    • Its never too early to start planning for retirement. A retirement calculator can help you figure out how much youll need to retire comfortably. Building a sizable nest egg may enable you to delay Social Security benefits and maximize your monthly payments once you are ready to collect.
    • Though you probably wont be able to live off them entirely, Social Security benefits are a valuable addition to your retirement income. Check your paychecks and tax documents to ensure you are contributing to the SSA.

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    What To Know About Social Security If Youre In Your 60s

    Once youre in your 60s, Social Security is literally right around the corner. Whether you claim as early as possible, at age 62, or wait as long as you can, until age 70, your choices will have far-reaching ramifications for your retirement security.

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    You wont have much time to boost your Social Security earnings by the time you reach your 60s, but there are still ways to maximize the amount youll earn. Its also the perfect time to learn the ins and outs of how Social Security operates to ensure you dont make costly mistakes.

    Here are the most important things to know about Social Security in your 60s, along with a brief description of what type of benefit you should expect.

    How To Create A My Social Security Account

    A primer on Social Security spousal benefits

    If you dont already have an account, you can create one anytime. However, only beneficiaries who created an account prior to Nov. 17 will receive their 2022 COLA notice online.

    Its a good idea to create an online account for other reasons, too especially if you receive Social Security or SSI benefits.

    With a MySocialSecurity account you can also:

    • Request a new Social Security card.
    • Set up or change direct deposit.
    • Get your Social Security tax form .
    • Print a benefit verification letter.
    • Change your address.

    To create an account, youll need to do the following:

  • Verify your identity by entering personal information about yourself.
  • Answer some security questions.
  • Create a username and password.
  • Confirm your email address or phone number by entering a one-time security code.
  • Whether you have an online account or not, you can expect to receive a paper notice in the mail in upcoming weeks.

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    How To Set Up A My Social Security Account

    The first step is visiting the my Social Security website. Make sure this is the website you are accessing, as it is the official Social Security Administration website.

    To sign up, you need to have a valid email address, be at least 18 years old, have a valid U.S. mailing address, and have a Social Security number. Simply navigate to the Create an Account page and get started filling out the requested information. Youll have to answer some personal questions to verify your identity. These questions usually pertain to your or other historical information that only you will know in detail. They asked us information about our past addresses and our credit.

    Should I File At Age 62 Age 70 Or Somewhere In Between

    Whether you should choose to file for Social Security early or late is a constant debate. The problem lies in the uncertainty of the future.

    If you know youre going to live a long and healthy life, claiming late may be the best answer, as youll have an elevated payout for decades. But if youre in poor health and you have a history of family medical problems, you may not live to see those increased payments, in which case filing early makes sense.

    Some taxpayers simply want their money as fast as they can get it, or they dont believe in the long-term viability of the Social Security system, so they claim as early as possible. It pays to sit with your tax and financial advisors, and perhaps even your medical professionals, to help determine the best path for you.

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