Spruce Up Your Financial Plan with Social Security

" "Now that tax season is over, it’s probably a good time to evaluate some financial “best practices” for the rest of the year. A good spring-cleaning can clear out the clutter to let you see a clear path for your future. Social Security is always here to help. Even if you just started working, now is the time to start preparing for retirement. Achieving the dream of a secure, comfortable retirement is much easier with a strong financial plan.

Tip 1: Start Early

Our online retirement planning resources are helpful to people at any stage of their career. Our many calculators, Benefit Eligibility Screening Tool, and disability resources are all available on our benefit planners website. From here, you can read and download publications and also email and share with colleagues, friends, and family. Remember, the earlier you start, the better chance you have at saving what you need.

Tip 2: Be Informed

We’re often asked, “What’s the best age to start receiving retirement benefits?” The answer is that there’s no single “best age” for everyone and, ultimately, it’s your choice. The most important thing is to make an informed decision, based on your individual and family circumstances.  To help you make that decision, see our retirement publications.

Tip 3: Estimate the Benefits You Might Get

Knowing the amount of money you could get is pivotal in planning your finances.  With the Retirement Estimator, you can plug in some basic information to get an instant, personalized estimate of your future benefits. Try out different scenarios, such as higher or lower future earnings amounts and various retirement dates to see the various potential effects on your future benefit amounts.

Social Security can help you spring into action and take control of your future with the proper planning tools. Share these online resources with friends and family so they, too, will have the tools.

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31 thoughts on “Spruce Up Your Financial Plan with Social Security

  1. I have a question. I lose an appeal before an Admin Judge. Then the very issue of which I was denied is reversed through Congressional legislation and I now qualify. Can I reapply for the same benefit I was once denied?

      • This was not a disability issue, it was a Soc Sec retirement issue. I never asked you to access my information, just answer the general question, which you have thus far failed to do. Please answer the question: “if you lose an appeal and then you qualify because the law has changed, can you reapply?”

        • Yes, you can reapply, even if the law didn’t change you can always reapply.

          You would be denied again, if the law didn’t change but you have every right to apply again, no matter the circumstances.

          So YES!!! you CAN reapply.

  2. This is especially true for teachers who will be affected by the Windfall Act and will receive a very small amount of Social Security. I worked and put aside Social Security from age 18 to my retirement at 67. (I had put in about 23 years)
    I started teaching when I was 30 not knowing that having a small pension would affect my Social Security Retirement. I loved teaching and giving to my Students
    I was told I would receive about $1500. (Monthly When I retired with Social Security )
    This was cut by the Windfall Act to about $500. Monthly.
    With a small teacher pension I am having a difficult time financially

    • I think your problem has to do with the fact that you didn’t pay into Social Security in the years you were a teacher. There are 15 states that teachers are not eligible for Social Security. The teachers don’t pay into Social Security but instead pay a higher rate into the teachers fund.
      These provisions reduce benefits for those who worked in a job in which they qualified for a pension and did not have to pay Social Security taxes. This is not limited to teachers, but can also include firefighters, police officers and numerous other state, county and local employees. I’m surprised you never noticed that you weren’t paying the 6.2% into Social Security.

      • JT, your comments are correct if the employee never paid into Soc Security. The problem with Windfall Elimination and the Gov Pension Offset is when an employee works both Soc Security jobs and jobs that do not contribute to Soc Sec. With regards to Gov Pension Offset, why should a spouse who paid into Soc Sec be denied a spouse benefit and spouses who never worked never paid anything into Soc Sec be granted a spousal benefit. The same reality exists for the Windfall Elimination Provision, worker pays into Soc Sec for part of their career and gets no Soc Sec retirement benefit. This is the victimization of the Gov Pension Offset and the Windfall Elimination Provision.

  3. My wife and I are on social security and we both are going to need some dental work soon. Can we add dental work to our SS ?
    My Tele # is 706 3465284.

  4. I am an older divorced woman. Unfortunately, for reasons I won’t go into now (in case he reads these) I have a limited amount of funds to use in investments. He has the rest – quite a bundle. I get S.S. in the mid $800’s and my rent goes out in the $700’s – low income housing. I have a tight budget, and am looking for another place to live, smaller and cheaper. I see nothing ahead except more of the same.
    Abby

  5. It is a little late to plan 4 my retirement, since I was forced to retire from the state health dept several yrs ago. thanks anyway!!

  6. I plan on getting married in the future, my financer gets SSA. will SOCIAL Security CUT his Benefits and I be stuck in the MUD to Take care of my New Husband.

  7. I’ve been receiving telephone calls saying my social security will be cancelled if I don’t call them. I believe its a scam so I haven’t called. Please advise if I need to contact you about this.

    • Thanks for checking in with us, Tim. We do not usually make random calls. If anyone receives calls saying that they are from Social Security, do not give out any personal information. Suspicious calls should be reported to the Office of the Inspector General at 1-800-269-0271 or online. You can also report these scams to the Federal Trade Commission through a new site specific to Social Security scams, here. We hope this helps.

  8. My hours were cut drastically at my job and I applied for Social Security to start. If I start working more hours and go over the $1470/ month how I do I report this to Soc. Security?

  9. Is it true that if you are collecting your social security, you will lose it forever if you are incarcerated? And does this apply to someone on disability social security? Thank you

    • Hi Tenmar. Social Security prohibits payments to most prisoners. For Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, the law states that a person cannot live in a public institution (for example, a jail, prison, penal facility, etc.) for a full calendar month or more, and receive SSI benefits. For Social Security retirement, survivors or disability benefits, the law states that if a person commits a crime and a court convicts the person, and the person serves more than 30 continuous days in jail following the conviction, the person cannot get benefits while incarcerated. If while incarcerated, the person receives benefits that she/he should not have received, the person is responsible for paying back any money that she/he should not have received. You can find more information about Social Security and SSI benefits and people who are incarcerated, here. If you are aware of any prisoners who are illegally receiving benefits, please report it to us here. We take reports of fraud very seriously. We hope this helps.

  10. Do the employees at SSA know that they work for us, the tax payers? I had a phone appt. for this morning and guess what? No one called me. All day long. This is pathetic. This is my money, my benefit and my government. Now I have to waste 2 more hours of my time hanging on the phone waiting for a human to answer to find out why SSA did not call me as scheduled. I am furious and this ineptitude.

    • Hi, Peggy. We are sorry to hear about your experience. If you still need assistance to reschedule your appointment, you can click “Get Help” in your personal my Social Security account to “Ask a Question”. Click “Talk to an Expert” for a call back. You can also submit feedback by visiting our Contact Social Security page. Once there, select the “E-mail Us” link. This will take you to the “Email A Question to our Support Team” form, where you can complete and submit a compliment, complaint, or suggestion. Thanks.

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