Spruce Up Your Financial Plan with Social Security

May 23, 2019 • By

Last Updated: May 23, 2019

" "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.

See Comments

About the Author


Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications


  1. Abraham J areeckal

    Do you have long term retirement care?
    Can retired person get long term care?


    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.

  3. loretta wilson

    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!!

  4. cosmo34

    A good compilation for retirees like me.

  5. Barbara ellen Brooke

    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.

  6. Elizabeth Mueller

    How can I make an appoinment to see someone in Tampa, FL on Gunn Hwy?

    • John

      Call them or call the toll free number.

    • Vonda VanTil, Public Affairs Specialist

      Hello Elizabeth. We currently do not have an online appointment scheduler. However you do not need an appointment to file for benefits or appeal a disability decision. You can file for the following benefits online:
      Retirement/Spouse’s/Divorced Spouse’s;
      Medicare; and

      If you do not want to apply for benefits online, or you need to speak to us for any other reason, you can schedule, reschedule or cancel an appointment by:
      •Calling us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday; or
      •Contacting your local Social Security office. Thanks!

  7. Jim Henderson

    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.

    • John

      That’s a MEDICARE question and if you do get that you could shop for a supplemental plan or Medicare Advantage.

    • Vonda VanTil, Public Affairs Specialist

      Hi Jim: It sounds like you may be asking if Medicare covers dental work. You can get details about Medicare by visiting or by calling 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) (TTY 1-877-486-2048).

    • Marc

      Medicare for not cover dental.

  8. Jan

    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

    • JT

      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.

      • carols

        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.


    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?

    • John

      Yes, and the next step in the appeals process is in the Federal Court.

    • Vonda VanTil, Public Affairs Specialist

      Carols, thank you for using our blog. For your security, we do not have access to your information in this venue. To inquire about reapplying for disability benefits, please call our toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). Representatives are available between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday or contact your local Social Security office.

      • carols

        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?”

        • Jeff

          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.

          • carols

            Thank you Jeff.

  10. lesly francois

    I stop asking ssa for help.

Comments are closed.