Online Services, Retirement

3 Things You Can Do to Prepare for Retirement Right Now

April 12, 2018 • By

Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Last Updated: November 3, 2023

woman on laptop Whether you just started seriously planning or are ready to retire, Social Security is the place to start. We’re with you throughout life’s journey, and that includes retirement planning!

The first thing you should remember is that Social Security replaces only a portion of your pre-retirement earnings. Most financial advisers say you will need about 70 percent of pre-retirement income to live comfortably in retirement, including your Social Security benefits, investments, and other savings. A solid retirement plan includes planning for more than Social Security. You can use Your Retirement Checklist to help you prepare.

When the time comes to take that giant step into retirement, Social Security’s online services can help guide you in this new journey. Use these services to help prepare yourself for a financially secure retirement:

  1. Check your earnings for accuracy
    • With a my Social Security account, you can view your earnings history, confirm you have enough work credits to retire, and see estimates of what your benefits will be. Open your account today!
  2. Determine the best age for you to retire
    • Our Retirement Estimator is a great tool that provides you with immediate and personalized estimates based on your own earnings record. This allows you to receive the most accurate estimate of your future retirement benefits. Estimate your benefits now!
  3. Retire online
    • After you have viewed your earnings history for accuracy, confirmed you have enough work credits to retire, and determined the best age for you to retire, you can get started on the next phase of your life right away by retiring online! Retire online today!

This National Social Security Month, remember that Social Security is here to help you secure today and tomorrow. Visit  our online services website today to see all you can do with us online.

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About the Author

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications


  1. Peter c.

    I what to move out of New Jersey and move to Florida

  2. behnam

    tnx a lot for site …

  3. behnam

    very good article.thank you ?

  4. behnam

  5. Bernard C.

    How can I change the bank routing number for our benefit direct deposits.

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Bernard. Thanks for your question. If you are receiving Social Security retirement or disability, you can create a my Social Security account to change your direct deposit online.
      If you are receiving Supplemental Security Income, you should contact your local Social Security office immediately. We hope this helps.

  6. Antonietta

    I wish! But now is just not a good time, with the kids being in school, work,
    the weather etc. We’re going away for one day / night for some private time, Sunday Monday.

  7. Anita

    I applied for social security in December 2018 and have been approved to start receiving benefits effective Jan 2019. The amount on my benefit letter does not include the 2.8% increase I have been reading about. Will there be an adjustment to my payment amount once SSA receives my income for 2018?

    • Vonda V.

      Hi Anita, thank you for the question. Unfortunately, and because of security reasons, we do not have access to personal records in this blog and cannot assist you.

      To inquire about your payment amount, you will have to contact your local office or call our toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.

  8. Dominic S.

    thank you for posting this

  9. SHARON W.

    I cannot afford to be totally out of money but I want to retire in October at age 62. Do I have to stop working full time in order to apply? I know I have to reduce my hours to about 20 hours a week afterwards but I wanted to go ahead and start the paperwork. I’ve been told I make too much money to retire. Can you help me understand this?

    • Ann C.

      Hello, Sharon. If you are younger than full retirement age and make more than the yearly earnings limit, this can reduce the number of payments you receive through the year. For 2018 that limit is $17, 040. If you applied and received benefits prior to attainment of full retirement age, and work part-time thereafter you will be considered “retired” only if your monthly earnings are $1,420 or less. Also, if your earnings will be over the limit for the year but you will be retired for part of the year, we have a special rule that applies to earnings for one year. Please visit our Retirement Planner: Getting Benefits While Working for more information. If you have specific questions about your situation, please call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 and speak with one of our agents. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Or contact your local Social Security office directly. We hope this helps.

  10. sondra e.

    can you draw social security off of your x husband when you were married for 23 years

    • Ann C.

      Great question, Sondra. Your ex-husband must be of retirement age (62 or older) or be receiving disability benefits for you to qualify and receive benefits on his record. If your ex-spouse does not apply for retirement benefits, but can qualify at age 62 or later, you can receive benefits on his record if you have been divorced for at least two years. Keep in mind that if a person begins to receive benefits at age 62 or prior to their full retirement age, their benefits are reduced. Unfortunately, these reduction factors are permanently applied to all benefits in which an individual may qualify, this would include your divorced spouse’s benefits. Also, keep in mind that if you are eligible for retirement benefits on your own record, we pay that amount first. If the benefit on your spouse’s record is higher, you will get an additional amount on that record so that the combination of benefits equals that higher amount. See our Retirement Planner: If You Are Divorced for more information.

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