General, Retirement

A Fulfilling New Years Resolution: Retirement Planning

January 4, 2017 • By

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Last Updated: November 3, 2023

man on computer  It’s 2017, and that means you might be one more year closer to retirement. Whether you’re at your very first job or wrapping up a successful career, there are always new things to learn about when it comes to saving for the future. So why not make retirement planning part of your New Year’s resolution!

Putting money in a high yield savings account (if you can find one) is always smart, but you can do even more. The U.S. Department of the Treasury now offers a retirement savings option called myRA. There’s no minimum to open the account, you can contribute what you can afford, and you can withdraw funds with ease. To learn more about myRA, visit

Hopefully, your employer chips in a little. An employer-sponsored retirement plan or 401(k) can be a useful way to set aside funds for retirement, especially if your employer offers matching funds on what you invest. If you don’t work for an employer that offers this type of plan, there are many other plans designed to help you save for retirement.

From solo 401(k)s to traditional and Roth IRAs, there are programs designed to fit a multitude of budgets. The earlier you start to save, the more funds you’ll have ready for retirement.

And, as always, there is Social Security, which is funded by taxes you pay while you work. To get estimates of future benefits and check your earnings record for accuracy, you can create a my Social Security account at

Along with giving up bad habits, this New Year start a good habit that can make a lasting, positive change.


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About the Author

Doug Walker, Deputy Commissioner, Communications

Deputy Commissioner, Office of Communications


  1. dr a.

    I can help you with your current situation contact me today.
    vie dr.aiyanaspelltemple @ gmail. com

  2. W. C.

    When a couple receives two checks each month what happens when one is deceased? Does the one left received only one check.

    • R.F.

      Generally, your Social Security benefits will be consolidated in one check. If you’re getting Social Security benefits based on your own work, we will check to see if you can get more money as a widow or widower. If so, you’ll get a combination of benefits that equals the higher amount. If you’re getting benefits as a wife or husband based on your spouse’s work, we’ll change your payments to survivor’s benefits when you report the death to us. Visit our Survivors Planner for more information.

  3. Torie

    I can’t believe you’re not playing with meta-h-t was so helpful.

  4. S T.

    We all need to ask our House representatives to redefine the COLA to include medical costs. This year’s two increases prove the point, with the Medicare increase vastly higher than the COLA.

  5. Tony S.

    United States Supreme Court

    Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC v. SEC

    Application for a Writ of Habeas Corpus
    Certiorari from the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on appeal from the Bankruptcy Court of the Southern District of New York

    To maximize utility of the Social Security Act I have determined that it is time to convict Bernie Madoff Investment Securities LLC with 11 counts of deprivation of relief benefits under 18USC246 and free the faultless beneficiaries from federal prison under Sec. 204(c) of the Social Security Act 42USC404(c). Medicare economics assumption of 2.5% growth + something, is the only Ponzi scheme in the social security act that might need to be abolished by conversion to free Medicaid policies for all social security beneficiaries, for failing to reimburse beneficiaries for the extortionate premium inflation greater than the ratio of 3% COLA for 2.5% health annuity, since January 1, 2016, 0.3% COLA for 0.25% health annuity harmless deal. The rest of the social security act programs are suffering from a war of attrition whereas a 3% COLA is needed for low income beneficiaries and workers to solve 2.7% inflation and at least another 1% population growth for 4% welfare program growth brokered by the Social Security Amendments of January 1, 2017

    The Madoff Court liberates SEC from conflict of interest with the FBI and US Sentencing Commission Guidelines under 18USC§205. SEC must ensure warrants for future arrests, detentions and exiles of particularly heinous debtors are addressed to the Attorney General, arrested by the US Marshall, signed by a federal judge under Rule 4 (b, d) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure who charges, convicts and sentences the criminal defendants to a fine and up to one year in prison, to best compensate the victim(s) of the deprivation of relief benefits under 18USC§246. In December 2012, Richard C. Breeden was retained to serve as Special Master on behalf of the Department of Justice to administer the process of compensating the victims of the Madoff fraud with the forfeited funds. On December 14 and 17, 2012, the Government filed motions requesting that the Court distribute restitution to victims the more than $2.35 billion forfeited to date as part of its investigation through the remission process, in accordance with Department of Justice regulations. Now that the most impoverished of the torture victims have been compensated, it is time for a new trial under 18USC§3145. The victims were once compelled to testify in support of the sentencing Bernie Madoff to 150 years in prison to get their money. Now that the really impoverished among them have been compensated up to $500,000, the beneficiaries are compelled to sue the government for a new trial to distribute all recovered funds equally and release Bernie Madoff and associates, who have served their time and paid for their crimes, only to be convicted of deprivation of relief benefits 18USC§246, a civil rights crime, and released from federal prison – time served.

    Time served for 11 counts of security fraud resulting in deprivation of relief benefits under 18USC§246. There are probably an equal number of trial errors by the Government, most significantly a failure of the Attorney General to publish the true cause of detention under 28USC§2243 for which the Sentencing Guidelines are alleged to provide for a 150 year sentence for language engaging in the business, actions and transactions of what SEC statute describes as the financial advising business, like so many unlawful detentions by the FBI reported by judges and the news media. Bernie Madoff is a civil prisoner arbitrarily arrested, detained (or exiled) for his debts by the FBI in violation of Art. 9 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Art. 11 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Madoff is reported to have not appealed his detention within 30 days; Wikipedia documents some sort of timely submission by his lawyer requesting a 12 year sentence based on Social Security life expectancy. After paying victim compensation, service of an eight or nine year sentence satisfies the Social Security Act. Sentencing Guidelines must be abolished in a new trial under Blakely v. Washington (2004). Any recoveries shall be distributed to equally amongst the faultless beneficiaries (compensated victims) and released detainees, in a new trial of immunity to release the detainees from federal prison and debt for the Ponzi scheme under Cunningham v. Brown (1924) and Sec. 204(c) of the Social Security Act 42USC§404(c). For the Madoff Court to issue a writ of habeas corpus under 28USC§2243 in this SEC case, a judge or justice must explain the true cause of arrest and detention is deprivation of relief benefits under 18USC§246 to the Attorney General who restored the one year sentence in 2016 the year it was hacked. Sentencing guidelines must be abolished under Blakely v. Washington (2004). Because of the severity of the economic damage caused by the exposure of the Madoff Ponzi scheme was off the charts it seems fair to allow SEC’s 11 counts of security fraud to be used to calculate the maximum sentence a person could serve for this security fraud under §246.

  6. David P.

    I am 100% disabled and have been receiving SS disability
    payments since 2000. I am confined to my home now. I am 62 1/2 now and would like to know what men’s retirement age is. Is it 65? Will my disability payments change at retirement or will I receive regular SS retirement payments instead of disability payments?

    • bettyg

      retirement age depends on the YEAR you were born; not your sex.

      when i turned “retirement age”, my ssdi payments REMAINED $$ 😉

      skimmed this new plan; could not see where you came up with average 2.5% interest ?? that fluctuates.

      please advise how/where this came to be. thanks!

    • John B.

      You will get the same except it’ll be now called social security. You are getting the maximum because you are disable and that’s it unless we get another .003 COLA raise next year.

    • pat

      your payments will remain the same

    • A.C.

      Thanks for your question, David. Currently, full retirement age is 66. If you are referring to SSDI (Disability benefits) converting to Retirement benefits, you do not need to apply. When you reach your full retirement age, we will automatically convert your disability benefits to retirement benefits, but the amount remains the same. We hope this helps!

  7. Frank

    How can one confidently plan for a secure retirement when Congress keeps threatening to cut our Social Security benefits? They are causing a lot of anxiety for me and a lot of others near retirement.

    • R.F.

      Hello Frank. Currently, there have been no changes to the Social Security programs. According to the Social Security Board of Trustees, the combined assets of the Social Security trust funds are projected to be depleted in 2034. If Congress does not act before then, there will only be sufficient income coming in to pay 79 percent of scheduled benefits. For more information, please visit Thanks!

  8. Bradford

    I agree with you Gary, it is a scam, and criminal, the way retirees are treated by the deadbeats in Washington.
    Why is the CPI for SSA benefits not figured on goods and services that retired folks actually buy? That would give more clear picture of real income. But when the increase in Medicare is based on factors that do not parallel the CPI measure, you are watching your spending power shrink. It then becomes more difficult to make ends meet.
    Hopefully we are going to see big changes with President Trump. He will get rid of the corruption and wasteful spending and concentrate on getting the payments in SSA to those that need it most.

    • Sharon

      Couldn’t have said it any better Gary. When are these dunderheads in Washington going to realize this. COLA increases should be based on necessities that go up every year. As you stated, Medicare just increased, utilities did–why can’t the COLA be adjusted to fit these very real increases?

    • Linda

      I would advise you NOT to hold your breath waiting for your new President to do ANYTHING for us!

      • pat

        The last time you got a good increase was when a Republican was President. Give the new President a chance before complaining. Social Security was not meant to be one’s complete retirement, however it has now become that for most people. You have people making minimum wage and paying half of their salary for insurance coverage due to Obama Care. The cost required to pay for Medicare coverage is very minimal compared to some companies. First we have to stop supplying free care for illegals and get back on the track of America being Great.

  9. Gary

    Social Security matters but last two years left me way behind the cost of living curve. I received a measly 2% raise and then a minuscule 0.2% raise. Then Medicare took it all away with their latest premium increase. This is a shameful way to treat anyone let alone one who has given Social Security my hard earned money for 51 years.

    • Andree

      I agree.,
      Whoever said retirement is the Golden
      Years certainly didn’t live in our times

      • Tom

        Don’t shoot the messenger. The people you elect to the House and the Senate determine all the rules and formulas. If you keep electing them after what has happened to you, you have no reason to expect a sudden epiphany on their part. Your votes have consequences so hold federal elected officials accountable. Telling SSA you are unhappy will not accomplish a thing since COLA and premium policy is not made by the agency.

  10. Cynthia S.

    my name is cynthia s wiersema I have been on disability social security since 2000 for health reasons now in a wheel chair I will be 65 in may of 2018 what do I do to get on medicare? I am already on part A my husband is still working and have some health insurance will I still get my monthly check? dont know what to do or at what age to start I need to get part B and D can you help me?

    • pat

      Before you turn 65 you will be get so many things from Medicare , they will inform you the cost of B and D and walk you through the entire process. Yes you will still get your monthly check in the amount you are receiving today.

      • Tom

        Medicare has nothing to do with Part B enrollments. They are done through Social Security. If you are on social security disability, then you already had an enrollment period and turned Part B down due to your spouse’s employer plan which is primary. You will be automatically enrolled in Part B without penalty again at age 65 (it will be done 3 months in advance). If you no longer have the employer plan, you should consider enrolling in Part B up to 3 months before your spouse stops working so it is in place effective the month he stops rather than waiting until age 65. When he stops working the employer plan by law is secondary and may only pay up to 20% of your bills since you should then have signed up for Part B already. This is called a special enrollment period or SEP. If he will still be working after age 65, you may turn down Part B again. Reminder: when he stops working Part B will become primary. Medicare allows SSA to again process a future enrollment up to 3 months in advance. If you enroll after the work stops, the SEP will go for 7 more months but Part B can only begin the month after your delayed enrollment. Plan ahead! With an expected hiring freeze, delays in processing may ensue, depending on your local office’s staffing losses. So don’t wait until the last minute.

      • R.F.

        To learn more about the Medicare program visit

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