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Take 5 Steps toward Your Financial Security

April 3, 2017 • By

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Last Updated: November 3, 2023

5 steps towards financial future April is National Social Security Month and a perfect time to think about your future. We’d like to encourage you to take Five Steps toward Your Financial Security Planning for the future may seem intimidating to many, but we’ve broken the task down into five easy steps:

Step 1: Get to know your Social Security — You and Social Security are on a journey for life, but there is so much you may not know about the benefits and services we provide. Social Security delivers financial security to millions of children and adults before retirement; including the chronically ill, children of deceased parents, and wounded warriors.

Step 2: Verify your earnings — Your benefits are calculated using your employment records. You can use your personal my Social Security account to verify that your earnings are recorded accurately.

Step 3: Estimate your benefits — With our Retirement Estimator, you can estimate your future retirement or disability benefits based on your actual earnings record. This can be invaluable as you plan for your future.

Step 4:  Apply for benefits — You can apply for retirement, Medicare, or disability benefits online through our easy to use, convenient to navigate, and secure online application.

Step 5:  Manage your benefits — Social Security puts you in control by offering convenient and secure services that fit your needs. Verify your earnings and payment information, change your address or phone number, get a benefit verification letter, and even start or change direct deposit of your benefits.

A personal my Social Security account is the key to helping you plan for your financial future. If you don’t have a my Social Security account, open yours today! Take 5 Steps toward Your Financial Security and get to know your Social Security and the many ways we help secure today and tomorrow for you and your family.

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About the Author

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications


  1. Helena T.

    This is a very helpful information! I receive my late husband ‘s retirement benefits. I also worked in Seattle, always in nursing homes, and had several back injuries, and I already had back surgery, but it didn’t help much. Can I apply for some kind of help or benefits? I’m currently living in Brazil, but I have a daughter that lives in Orlando. Can you help me? I had my injuries at work and was taken to a clinic to check it out. I do have one report here but there must be a way to find out about the others. Thank you I’ll wait for an answer!

    • V.V.

      Hi Helena, thanks for using our blog. It depends on how old you are. If you are already full retirement age (Currently 66) but have never filed for retirement benefits, you can switch over to retirement if it is advantageous to do so. If you are younger than your full retirement age, you absolutely can apply for disability benefits.

      We recommend that individuals living outside the United States contact the nearest Federal Benefit Unit in the area for any assistance related to Social Security programs and benefits. Also, our Office of International Operations home page provides more information to assist our customers living abroad.


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