Guest Bloggers, Taxes

Knowing where you stand now with Social Security will pay off

March 23, 2017 • By

Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Last Updated: March 23, 2017

beth kobliner For most people, Social Security is a mystery. We see that 6.2 percent deduction on our pay stubs and wonder: What does it mean for my financial future? The answers: A lot. And not enough.

After tax season, take a few minutes to go online and read your Social Security statement. Even if your retirement is 30 or 40 years away, you need to know where you stand now. The Government Accountability Office tells us that nearly a third of households with members ages 55 and up have no retirement savings plan or pension in place—zip. That means Social Security is the only post-retirement pay they’ll get – and the estimated average monthly benefit for retirees (as of 2017) is just $1,360. (See what I mean by “not enough”?)

And women (lucky us!) have special reasons to worry. In a survey released in December 2016, the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies reported that men claimed to have more than three times the retirement savings women have. Yes, it appears that the dreaded Pay Gap has a retired older cousin called the Retirement Gap. (Oh, and because women live longer than men, on average, you’ll probably need to save for two or three more years of retirement.)

To check up on your Social Security, log on to, and follow the instructions to view your Social Security Statement. It will show you how much you’re currently eligible for, depending on when you start receiving Social Security benefits. Your monthly benefit amount increases the longer you delay your retirement, up to age 70. People get a smaller monthly benefit if they take early retirement, at age 62, than they would get at full retirement age (67 for anyone born in 1960 or later). Keep working until you turn 70, and you’ll get quite a bit more each month in retirement. Your online Statement breaks it all down.

You can also find out the monthly amount you’re eligible for if you become disabled and can’t work – and whether your family qualifies for survivor benefits in the event of your death.

Confronting your Social Security status annually will give you a much-needed reality check. Could you survive on what the government will send to you each month? (The short answer: Don’t count on it.) How much – and how quickly – do you need to start saving in a 401(k) or IRA? (Hint: the maximum – now.)

So now you know. Social Security needs to be part of your annual financial checkup. Because inspecting the old safety net might inspire you to start saving now so you will have enough to fall back on in retirement.


The Social Security Administration thanks Beth for her guest blog on Social Security Matters. We do not endorse any particular financial advisory product or service.

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  1. Mr. E.

    i work or us for social security through fbi nij odni for American people for secure from terrorism
    more than last 06 years but not get my pay from USA
    for my right honest administration
    through social security i like to get my pay from government of USA
    i love all USA people like my 01 family of love
    at this holy lenten my wish to hear peace around the world love humanity
    i love to work too for kind humanity or USA
    best regards too soul security administration team

    thanking you
    i am yours loving lie
    Egodage world wide /global leader stand up on behalf you

  2. Steven

    Is it true that FULL (not partial payment) SS retirement benefits are paid effective the beginning the month I reach FRA? I was born in the middle of the month. I applied for SS retirement benefit 3 months before my FRA birth month to take effect on my birthday. I was told I would receive a check in the following month for the “entire” month I reached FRA. Is that correct?

    • Paul

      No, it’s not true. Benefits are paid only for months in which you qualify for the full month. Since your birthday is in the middle of the FRA birth month, Social Security will treat you as not qualifying for your FRA birth month at all. Your first qualifying month will be the following month. And the benefit for a qualifying month is paid the following month, meaning two months after your FRA birth month. You should know, too, that your monthly payment date will depend on your birth date. Since you were born between the 11th and 20th , you’ll be paid on the third Wednesday of the month. So, if you were born on Jan. 15, you will see your first payment on the third Wednesday of March.

      • Ray F.

        To clarify, retirement benefits can begin the first month a person is age 62 throughout the entire month. However, the throughout the month rule does not apply to the attainment of full retirement age. Unreduced benefits are payable beginning with the month full retirement age is attained regardless of the day of the month. Thanks!


    Is the secretary of Social Security Administration empowered to contradict or arbitrarily change Social Security laws? I have been a victim of SSA’s deliberate misinterpretation of some social security rules or laws. For example my 14-year old daughter who was found medically disabled was not approved for benefit because she did not have 40-hours of work and her parents, myself and the mother did not too, but we had lived in the US for 6 years. The law requires kids who have lived for only 5 years in the US to be approved if they are found to be medically disabled.

  4. Ricky L.

    If I keep working past my full retirement age (66) will get the 7 to 8 percent plus what I pay into social security? Thanks Ricky

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Ricky. Delayed Retirement Credits happen after your full retirement. Generally, benefits will increase based on the number of months you did not receive benefits between your full retirement age and age 70. These increases will no longer happen once you turn age 70, regardless of whether you continue to delay taking your benefits. You may use our Early or Late Retirement calculator to compute your exact situation. For more information, visit our webpage, Retirement Planner: Delayed Retirement Credits. We hope this helps.

  5. kamrul @.

    Thanks for sharing

  6. Peter W.

    How can I again try to be listed in the right success?

  7. Patricia

    Life is what it is and they didn’t give me all my back pay money. They only went back 2yrs .But I’m not able to work anymore not even a 4hr. Job 20 hrs a week. My health won’t let. I’ve heart disease. High blood pressure.thyroid issues, cops, astma, sleep apnea.take all these pills just to stay alive. And y’all want me to servive on $755 a month. Omg


      $755?, ain’t you very lucky! I am on a mere $280 per month, and SSA has refused to pay me since June 2016 for no reasonable excuse other than I do not have a bank account. SSA doesn’t care sending checks to me.

  8. Ron Z.

    Beth, I’m going to wait till I’m 70 to collect Social Security ( 5 years) my statement says I’ll collect around $2,700 at 70 years old Will that number keep increasing over the next five years?

  9. Patricia r.

    I cannot remember my husband’s ss# . How can i get that info.

    • Kenny O.

      Hello Patricia: Our records are confidential and we do not disclose information about individuals who are living unless we have their consent to disclose such information to you. Your husband will need to request for a new Social Security card himself. To do this, he will need to gather documents proving both his identity and citizenship status. After we receive his application and verify all documents, he should receive his replacement Social Security card by mail within 10 business days. We hope this helps. Good luck.

  10. Shirley M.

    How long does it take for a decision from the judge it’s been since Nov 9, 2016 decision suppose to been made by March 9, 2017 no answer?

    • Betty g.

      Have your lawyer call the judges office and if you don’t have a lawyer call yourself to inquire about it that’s excessive for three months.

      The head administrator Aljudge who did mine said it would be months before I got decision but I got a notice back in two weeks that I was and the money was in my checking account.

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