Every year, the Social Security Administration creates a custom statement (creatively titled “Your Social Security Statement”) for each worker who has paid into the Social Security system.
The statement provides a year-by-year record of your earnings; annual taxes you have paid for Social Security and Medicare; and an estimate of your future Social Security benefits at age 62 (the earliest age you can collect), at your full retirement age, and at age 70.*
If you paid into Social Security during 2015, then it’s a good idea to review your most recent statement, which can be found by logging into your account at http://ssa.gov/myaccount/. (If you haven’t created an account, this is a good opportunity to do so!)
Check that your earnings and payment records are accurate, because this information determines if you have sufficient credits to be eligible for retirement, disability, and/or survivor benefits, along with the amount of those benefits.
Mistakes do happen. Errors on your statement can negatively impact the amount of your benefits, and potentially even your ability to receive those benefits. If you find inaccuracies on your statement, promptly notify the Social Security Administration by following the instructions on the statement.
One of our roles at Woodward Financial Advisors is to help our clients navigate financial matters, both simple and complicated. Reviewing a Social Security statement isn’t groundbreaking advice, but it’s easy to overlook how important it is to annually perform this task. If a mistake is discovered, it’s much easier to identify and correct now than to wait until many years later. If you have questions about your statement or Social Security in general, please contact us.
*The estimated Social Security benefit values shown on an individual’s statement are based on the assumption that the person’s yearly earnings going forward will be similar to what s/he made the previous year or two. Additionally, the estimated benefits are based on current law. Congress has made changes to the law in the past and can do so in the future.