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How to Check Your Estimated Social Security Benefit

Social Security Maximum Amount
Image: Creative Commons.

For a long time, the Social Security Administration sent annual updates to current and future Social Security beneficiaries, to fill them in on what their expected benefits are.

However, the SSA no longer does that, and now requires those interested to check themselves.

WFAA recently demonstrated how to do exactly that- by signing up on Social Security’s website.

Create a login with Social Security. Sign in, and it’ll tell you if you have worked enough already to eventually get a monthly benefit. The site will also reveal what your monthly payment is likely to be, based on your actual earnings history,” the report says. “You can also drag an interactive bar to see how much less you would get if you draw social security early at 62, versus waiting for the maximum payment you would get by waiting until you’re 70 to tap Social Security. You can print your information or save it and come back every year to re-check.”

Such an account also allows citizens to do various other things, including getting estimates for the benefits of their spouse, check their application status, and setting up direct deposit, their mailing address, and other information.

WFAA also cited a recent Vanguard report showing how much, and how little, Americans are saving money.

“For participants with lower wages, Social Security is expected to replace a higher percentage of income, and so a lower retirement saving rate may be appropriate. For higher-wage participants, Social Security replaces a lower percentage of income, and saving rates may need to be higher. In fact, higher-wave participants may not be able to achieve sufficient saving rates within the plan because of statutory contribution limits.”

With inflation rising, there are reasons to believe that Social Security beneficiaries will get a raise in their benefits next year.

CBS News reported that America’s 69 million Social Security beneficiaries are expected to receive the largest cost-of-living adjustment in nearly 30 years. In fact, the Senior Citizens League recently projected that those benefits will rise 6.1 percent.

“This is the highest COLA I’ve ever estimated in my 26-plus years of researching the annual inflation adjustment,” Mary Johnson, the Social Security and Medicare analyst for the Senior Citizens League, told ThinkAdviser last week. “While the [COLA] adjustment is high and will come as a welcome boost, retirees are trying to cope with soaring inflation right now with only a 1.3 percent boost to their benefit this year.”

And while that benefit will come in handy, those receiving Social Security are also affected by inflation, by having to pay more money than usual for goods.

 Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.

Written By

Stephen Silver is a journalist, essayist, and film critic, who is also a contributor to Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review, and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.

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