Helping America Plan for Retirement

November 9, 2015 • By

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Last Updated: November 9, 2015

80 year anniversary sign One of Social Security’s top priorities is helping you prepare for retirement. Planning your retirement early can help ensure secure and comfortable post-retirement years — yet few Americans do it. Both public policymakers and private firms have worked to engage individuals to plan in the decades before their retirement, with mixed success.

On November 12, the Retirement Security Project at the Brookings Institution will host an event “Helping America plan for retirement” with the Social Security Administration and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to explore these issues. Social Security Acting Commissioner Carolyn W. Colvin and CFPB Director Richard Cordray will give keynote remarks and announce the results of a recent collaboration. A panel of retirement security experts will discuss efforts to improve retirement planning and what additional steps could help make retirement planning easier for the average American. Speakers will take audience questions.

You can RSVP to attend this event here.

Remember, the sooner you start planning for retirement, the better off you’ll be when you decide to stop working. You might even be able to retire sooner than you thought with the right plan. You can always access our secure online retirement resources, including applying for retirement, estimating your future retirement benefits, and finding your full retirement age at

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About the Author

Jim Borland, Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Communications

Jim Borland, Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Communications


  1. MJean

    Oops! They forgot to tell us how to plan for when the government stops sending us checks, because SS has been running in the Red for so long that there will be none left in several years!!

  2. Barbara A.

    I have Social Security now, but I also am covered by my Husbands insurance where he works part time. They Plan to drop my on December 31st. 2015 . So I will only have my S.S. I have A & B I know. What else do I need to get?

    • Ray F.

      Thank you for your question, Barbara. You should know that since you have Medicare Parts A and B, you may also be eligible to obtain prescription drug coverage which is available to everyone who has Medicare benefits. We hope this helps.

  3. Harry r.

    what is the Maximum SS one can receive

    • Ray F.

      The maximum benefit depends on the age you retire. For example, if you retire at full retirement age in 2015, your maximum benefit would be $2,663. However, if you retire at age 62 in 2015, your maximum benefit would be $2,025. If you retire at age 70 in 2015, your maximum benefit would be $3,501.

  4. Harry r.

    can I collecdt SS and military retirement pay?



    • Ray F.

      Good news Harry. You can get both Social Security retirement benefits and military retirement. Generally, we do not reduce your Social Security benefits because of your military benefits.

  5. Jeff W.

    I’m starting collection of SS in Jan 2016. I am 69 but will continue to work “doing business as” so I have always had to pay twice the SS taxes that people working for companies pay. Will I still have to kick in almost 15% of my earned income even after I am drawing my Social security?

    • JayEll

      Yes, you always need to pay self-employment tax on self-employment income, just as FICA would be deducted if you had a regular job, regardless of age or benefit status. But remember that one-half of the SE tax you pay is deductible from income on the Form 1040.

    • Ray F.

      Hello Jeff. Everyone working in covered employment or self-employment regardless of age or eligibility for benefits must pay Social Security taxes. However, your benefits may increase when you work. we will check your record every year to see whether the additional earnings you had will increase your monthly benefit. If there is an increase, we will send you a letter telling you of your new benefit amount.

  6. Joe G.

    I would like to see the CAP OFF of Social Security. All working people pay into Social Security on an EQUAL PERCENTAGE BASIS regardless of INCOME. People earning over $114,000.00 per year DO NOT pay into Social Security. A percentage basis would be FAIR for all since it is based on same PERCENTAGE.

    • W. H.

      Well how about removing the cap on how much people can get back from Social Security if the cap is removed on paying in.

  7. mouctar s.

    I am in africa in angola luanda am from guinea conakry
    I need job from yours their

  8. Ken H.

    My full retirement age of 66 is one year away. Can I get spousal retirement benifits now and postpone mine before the new law takes affect.

    • Ray F.

      Ken, our legislative and policy staffs are working with Congress to analyze the intent of the new legislation and update our instructions. Please check back for updates.

  9. Barbara R.

    Will this event “Helping America plan for retirement” be posted again as a webinar or made visable to people planning retirement and who live far outside the Washington DC area? I’m in WPB, Florida area.

  10. PatriciaFrancois

    I would like to be able to know when I can retire. I would like to set up a meeting in December 21st or December 28th in the nearest office, which could be in St.Paul or suburbs if possible.

    • Ray F.

      Hi Patricia. The earliest age you can get retirement benefits is 62, and our system is set up to take applications three months in advance. You can create a My Social Security account to review your earnings record and get an estimate of your future benefits. When you are ready, you can complete the online application for your Social Security Retirement benefits in as little as 15 minutes. If you still need to make an appointment with your local office, call our toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) for assistance. Representatives are available between 7a.m. and 7p.m., Monday through Friday. You will generally have a shorter wait time if you call later in the week. We hope this information helps!

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