Importance Of Checking Your Benefits
If youre thinking you dont need to check your Social Security account because retirement is still decades away, you should think again. Checking your Social Security statement online allows you to make sure you’re getting credit for the income youre earning, which is important because your future benefits are based on your earnings today. Its much better to discover and resolve discrepancies before you’re ready to collect. Decades later, you might not even notice the problem, not to mention having a more difficult time proving your earlier income. In addition, creating your account prevents a fraudster from creating an account in your name before you get around to creating one for yourself.
Based in the Kansas City area, Mike specializes in personal finance and business topics. He has been writing since 2009 and has been published by “Quicken,””TurboTax,” and “The Motley Fool.”
How Can I Get A Form Ssa
An SSA-1099 is a tax form we mail each year in January to people who receive Social Security benefits. It shows the total amount of benefits you received from Social Security in the previous year so you know how much Social Security income to report to IRS on your tax return.
If you are a nonresident alien and you received or repaid Social Security benefits last year, we will send you form SSA-1042S instead.
The forms SSA-1099 and SSA-1042S are not available for people who receive Supplemental Security Income .
If you currently live in the United States and you need a replacement form SSA-1099 or SSA-1042S, we have a new way for you to get an instant replacement quickly and easily beginning February 1st by:
- Using your online mySocial Security account. If you dont already have an account, you can create one online. Go to . Once you are logged in to your account, select the “Replacement Documents” tab
- Calling us at 1-800-772-1213 , Monday through Friday, 8:00 am 7:00 pm or
It’s Time To Check Your Social Security Statement Online
Checking your Social Security Statement annually is something all working adults should do, according to the Social Security Administration. An annual check allows you to check the accuracy of your earnings as recorded for the previous year and to correct any mistakes. Each statement also estimates the monthly Social Security payment you can expect in retirement based upon your current average earnings and planned retirement age. The various estimates can help in your retirement planning. So it makes sense to start checking your annual Social Security statement early in your working career, rather than waiting until you near retirement. If you don’t regularly check your Social Security Statement, now is a good time to start!
Checking your Social Security Statement annually is something all working adults should do, according to the Social Security Administration.
Read Also: What Day Will I Get My Social Security Check
Creating An Online Account
You must be over 18 years old and have a Social Security number and an email address to create a my Social Security account, but otherwise, there is no cost to set up the account. Once you’re on Social Security website click on Sign In” or “Create an Account. Youll need to provide your name, Social Security number, date of birth, home address and phone number.
Youll also need to select a username and password. Then youll receive a code by your choice of email or text message to confirm your identity. You can elect to add an extra level of security to your account by having the Social Security Administration mail you an activation code.
How To Check Your Social Security Statement Online
It’s easy to check your Social Security statement online. Everything works exactly as you’d expect and the website security is tight. Here’s how.
From the main page of your account, you have access to all of your basic Social Security info, such as your earning record:
And your estimated benefits:
You can also download your most recent Social Security statement and/or order a replacement card.
There’s not a lot to see in your Social Security account, but that’s fine. Sometimes you simply need to check your estimated benefits or your lifetime earnings. The Social Security website makes that easy and efficient to do.
Read Also: Social Security Gov Benefits
How To Get A Copy Of Your Social Security Statement
The SSA mails out Social Security Statements to follks age 25 and over before their birthdays during their 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, and 60 years. For those age 60 until retirement, the SSA will send out statements every year. You can also go online to get a copy of your statement or view it online. Go to www.ssa.gov/mystatement/ and open an account with Social Security to view your statement.
Finding Your Social Security Number
If you find yourself thinking, What is my SSN, then one of the easiest ways to find it is by looking on existing documentation that you may already have. Believe it or not, your Social Security number is listed on many documents that you might already have in your possession. It is a nine-digit number that will usually contain two hyphens. First, try and locate your Social Security card. Your number will be plainly displayed there. If you cannot find your card, there is still hope.
You can still try some of these other documents that are likely to have your number on them. Look for some of your old tax returns. Your number will be listed typically on the first page of your tax return. You can also check your W-2 from your employer and maybe even your bank statements. Both of these documents are common places to find your SSN listed. If you still have no luck, check your drivers license. While most states no longer display your SSN on your license, it is worth a look. If you have an immigrant visa, then your USCIS Forms are the next place you should look. SSNs are common on your visa paperwork, so you can often find your number there. If you are unable to find your number anywhere you look, then youll need to contact the SSA to start the process of getting a replacement Social Security card.
Also Check: Social Scerity
How To Check Your Social Security Statement
The Social Security Administration used to send paper statements to wage earners each year. These statements listed your wages and Social Security credits for the year, and a tally of your lifetime earnings and credits. Based on this information, the agency provided an estimate of your future Social Security retirement, disability and survivor benefits. If you haven’t seen one of these statements in a while, don’t be surprised. As of 2011, Social Security no longer mails annual statements to most workers. However, you can still check your statement online through the the agency’s website.
Go to the Social Security Administration website at ssa.gov.
Video of the Day
Using Your Benefit Estimates
As your statement will show, your Social Security retirement benefits will vary depending on when you claim them before or after your full retirement age . The longer you wait to start receiving payments, the higher your benefit amount will be.
However, it’s not always better to wait until your full retirement age to claim your Social Security benefits. If you need your Social Security benefits for living expenses, or you have a health condition that makes it unlikely that you will live past age 75 or so, you may be better off collecting your benefits sooner rather than later. You can use a calculator at the Social Security website to see which retirement age makes the most financial sense for you .
For comprehensive practical information about how and when to claim Social Security benefits, see Social Security, Medicare & Government Pensions, by Joseph Matthews with Dorothy Matthews Berman .
Don’t Miss: Social Security Benefits Payout
More Than 60 Million People Receive Social Security Payments Every Year And The Ssa Have Imtroduced My Social Security To Make It Easier To Claim The Support
Social Security is paid for by the monthly contributions made by hundreds of millions of Americans and it provides financial support designed to help retirees and peoples with disabilities.
As a general rule, the higher your salary the larger your Social Security contributions will be. This means that the size of your entitlement from the Social Security Administration will also vary.
Find Out Your Estimated Social Security Benefits
Periodically checking your estimated Social Security benefits serves several purposes: It helps you plan for retirement and allows you to check for and correct errors.
The Social Security Administration keeps a database of your earnings record and work credits, tracking both through your Social Security number. You can see this information on your Social Security Statement, which is available to everyone age 25 and over. The Social Security Statement also gives you an estimate of the benefits you’ll receive at retirement age, which can play an important role in your financial planning.
Recommended Reading: Monthly Social Security Benefit
Put What You Have Left In Your Savings
After you’ve paid for necessities and healthcare, you might only be left with a few hundred dollars a year if you get the average retirement benefit. So what should you do with that leftover cash?
Edwin Cruz, owner of Prosperity Financial Group, tells his clients to set aside 10% to 20% of their Social Security checks to cover the unexpected. He also recommends adjusting this amount over time until the retiree has six to nine months of living expenses built up.
Following this strategy — and assuming you get the average retirement benefit — you should aim to save at least $1,825.91 each year until you reach your six to nine months’ worth of emergency savings. But since you’ve already used your Social Security checks to cover other high-priority expenses, you’ll likely need to tap into other income sources to build an emergency fund.
Your Social Security Card
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.
Don’t Miss: Www Com Social Security
How To Check On My Social Security Account
Check your Social Security account online 24/7.
The Social Security Administration only mails out paper statements to workers age 60 and older who arent receiving Social Security benefits yet and dont have an online account with the Social Security Administration. Everyone else can go to the SSA website to check their accounts. Once you register for the service, you can view information about your accumulated Social Security credits, your estimated benefits as well as retirement tips with a just few mouse clicks.
How Can I Find My Social Security Number Online
You will need to have a My Social Security account to access your SSN online. If you have not already signed up for an account, then you will not be able to get one until you find your number using another method. Knowing your SSN is required to sign up for an account, but once you have the account, you can access it using your user name and password.
Also Check: Mysocialscurity
Why You Should Check Your Social Security Statement
In order to accurately assess how much income youll need in retirement, and therefore how big of a retirement portfolio youll need to produce that income, you have to consider retirement income from non-investment sources. This includes pensions, income generated by non-retirement assets, and Social Security benefits.
For example, if you expect to need $5,000 per month in retirement, but you will receive $2,000 per month in Social Security benefits, then your retirement portfolio will only need to generate $3,000 per month.
Knowing your Social Security benefit is also important because most workers today arent covered by a defined benefit pension plan. Those were the employer-only funded plans that many of todays retirees enjoy. But most workers today will be dependent on a combination of Social Security benefits and the income generated by a generously funded retirement portfolio.
Apart from retirement, its also important to know how much you can expect to receive if you needed to file for disability. This is an often under-appreciated benefit of Social Security, but an extremely important one for everyone who relies primarily on earned income to provide for themselves and their families.
Why A Social Security Earnings Record Mistake Matters
A mistake in your earnings history can make a big difference in how your Social Security benefits are calculated. How? It all goes back to the benefits formula. The Social Security Administration uses your highest 35 years of earnings as a cornerstone of the benefit calculation. If any of these 35 years are incorrect or missing altogether, the average is skewed. One year of missing earnings can make a difference of $100 per month in your benefit amount. Over your lifetime, that could be nearly $30,000 in missed benefits from one year of missing earnings.
You need to check your Social Security earnings record today. Thankfully, its pretty easy to do.
Heres how to accomplish this in five easy steps.
The First Thing You Should Do With Your Social Security Check
Whether you’re 20 years old or 10 years away from retirement, it’s important to plan how you’re going to supplement your income and spend your money during your golden years. For many soon-to-be retirees, this means making a plan for their Social Security checks.
Americans 65 and older spend an average of about $48,791 annually between 2016 and 2020 on essentials such as food, housing, transportation and healthcare, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistic’s 2019 Consumer Expenditure Survey. But the average monthly Social Security benefit for retired workers is $1,619.67 — which comes out to only $19,436.04 annually. If you plan to rely on Social Security alone, you’ll quickly realize that this amount probably isn’t enough to fully fund your retirement lifestyle.
Still, you don’t want to blow through your Social Security check. That’s why it’s important to carefully budget and spend your benefits wisely. Keep reading to learn more about what you should do with your Social Security check.
Check Out The Sign Up Process On The Social Security Website
Signing up for a Social Security statement is not hard. But because the SSA takes several steps to verify your personal information and protect your identity, it’s smart to review the Questions & Answers about the process on the My Account page. That will tell you what you need to have handy before you begin the sign up. For basics, be sure you have handy your Social Security number, last year’s W-2 or earnings listed on your tax return . In addition be ready to answer some questions about your financial historythe SSA typically uses information from your credit report such as past employers, past residential addresses and the like. Be sure to create a unique user name and password for your account .
As additional protection, you can only sign up for yourself. You can’t sign up for a spouse or other individual even if you have written permission.
You May Like: Social Sercrity
How To Find Your Social Security Number // Social Security Offices
Social Security numbers have become one of the main pieces of identification used in the United States. The Social Security Administration manages the issuance and governance of these numbers. There are many times when you might need to know your SSN such as starting a new job, applying for a loan, or applying for Social Security benefits. Sometimes you are required to present your Social Security card as well, but often simply knowing your number is enough. So, what happens if you forget your number and do not have access to your card? You are probably scratching your head and wondering, What is my Social Security number? There are some ways that you can find out your Social Security number and even get a replacement card, but you will have to go through the proper steps to verify your identity. If you find yourself needing your SSN, but you cannot find it, then keep reading to learn how to find your Social Security number.
Early Or Late Social Security Statements Are Getting A Much
If youre old enough and have worked long enough, you may recall getting an annual Social Security statement in the mail, about three months before your birthday, with estimations of your benefits.
But budget cuts put a stop to the mailings for most workers. Now, if you want to see your personal Social Security statement, youll have to create an online account. If you dont have an account, or you have one but havent checked your statement lately, you should. The Social Security Administration has given the statement a makeover. Its shorter streamlined down to two pages from the previous four and, thankfully, better written.
I give them a lot of credit for trying to make this more user-friendly and trying to explain a variety of things like disability and survivor benefits, said Joel Eskovitz, director of Social Security and Savings at AARP Public Policy Institute. Its a lot of information to convey and generally speaking, I think theyve done a really good job.
The most useful change to the statement is a color bar chart that shows the estimated monthly retirement payments youd get each year starting at age 62 when you first become eligible. Previous statements just showed the monthly amount at 62, your full retirement age, and an estimate of what youd receive by waiting until 70. The increases stop when you reach 70.
You May Like: When Is Social Security Paid