Do you know how much your monthly Social Security check will be when you retire?
The Social Security Administration used to mail Americans annual paper statements, but now you will only receive a statement if you are over 60, not receiving benefits, and have not established an online account. The statement is mailed three months before your birthday.
You can, however, check your statements any time online by registering at my Social Security. More than 30 million people have created online Social Security accounts since they became available in 2012.
Here is the link to my Social Security where you can create your account. To establish an account, you must provide some personal information about yourself including answers to some questions that only you are likely to know.
Once your account is set up, you’ll be able to see an estimate of what your monthly Social Security benefit will be at:
Americans don’t have one standard full retirement age. The Full Retirement Age (FRA) for Baby Boomers born between 1943 and 1954 is 66. For Americans born from 1955 through 1959, FRA increases by two months every year. For everyone born in 1960 and later, FRA is 67.
Individuals can receive their full benefit, called the Primary Insurance Amount, at their FRA. Individuals can claim their Social Security retirement or spousal benefit as early as age 62, but the benefit will be permanently reduced by as much as 30% depending on your FRA and how early you file. Delaying your benefit beyond your FRA can increase your benefit by as much as 8% per year until age 70, when the maximum Delayed Retirement Credit has accrued.
The “File and Suspend” strategy is no longer allowed, but people born on or before January 1, 1954, can still use the Restricted Application strategy to optimize their overall benefit by claiming one benefit and later switching to another benefit.
You will see your entire yearly earnings record when you view your online account. It’s important that you check the earnings figures to make sure they are correct.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) calculates your benefits based on your earnings during the 35 yearsopens PDF file when you earned the most.
In making its calculation, the SSA assumes that you will continue to earn your current salary until retirement. If your earnings change, your benefit will too.
Once you’ve begun receiving Social Security payments, you can use your online account to change your address, set up and change your direct deposit, and update your personal information.