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Take 5 Steps toward Your Financial Security

April 3, 2017 • By

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Last Updated: August 19, 2021

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

Comments

  1. Earnestine

    whoah this blog is great i like studying your
    articles. Stay up the good work! You know, a lot of people are searching round for
    this information, you can aid them greatly.

  2. Kathleen S.

    I have a question, my husband and I are both 62 I would like to recive my early benfit but. It is much less than my husbands must he retire before i can recevie half of his? Or can he continue to work then when I turn 66 can I begin to receive half of his benefit.

    • Ray F.

      Thank you for your question Kathleen. You may be able to get spouse’s retirement benefits if you are at least 62 years of age and your spouse is receiving retirement or disability benefits. Your full spouse’s benefit could be up to one-half the amount your spouse is entitled to receive at their full retirement age. However, if you qualify and apply for your own retirement benefits and for benefits as a spouse, we always pay your own benefits first. If your benefits as a spouse are higher than your own retirement benefits, you will get a combination of benefits equaling the higher spouse benefit. Also, if your birthday is January 2, 1954 or later, the option to take only one benefit at full retirement age no longer exists. If you file for one benefit, you will be effectively filing for all retirement or spousal benefits. Please call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 for further assistance. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. You will generally have a shorter wait time if you call later in the week.

  3. Joseph C.

    Regarding the reply re local office visits. I have visited my local office with duperb results. Friendly, respectful and one person was from my home town. I received full attention eith no “hurrying me along,”. I recommend it highly.
    Joseph

    • Ray F.

      Thanks for your comment Joseph! Social Security is committed to providing world-class customer service today and in the years to come.

  4. samuel c.

    i was tell in march last year that whend i turn 66 i would get alump sum money for all the years i work on my intere life i retire in 2013 i will be 66 this april

    • Ray F.

      Hi Samuel. For working beneficiaries, and after they reach their full retirement age, we recalculate their benefit amount to give them credit for any months in which they did not receive a benefit because of their earnings. We will send them a letter telling them about any increase in their benefit amount. Please call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. for further assistance. Thanks.

  5. Susan C.

    You people seeking personal replies would do better going to their local social security office. Secure an appointment to talk with someone there. You are not going to get personal replies here. They do occasionally answer general questions about their systems, but that is all.

    • John

      Excellent to note this but some will continue to ask about their specific situation and there is no way to address those concerns here.

      • Com.bil

        Reply: contact your SS Office to establish your account, then can communicate directly. Easy solution to both !

    • Maria K.

      This site should be taken down, another form of waste in our government.

      • Ice

        Seriously?–you are not in touch with reality.

    • Ray F.

      Thank you for your comment Susan. You’re right, for security reasons, we do not have access to personal records in this forum. Our blog — Social Security Matters — gives readers information about a variety of topics, including our programs, online services, current events, and human-interest stories, usually in greater detail than typically shared on our other social media platforms. Our blog encourages discussion and offers important retirement and disability-related solutions. If you have specific questions about your claim or situation, contact your local Social Security office or call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213. Representatives at our toll free number are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Thank you for your support and for using our blog.

  6. Steve

    Is there benefits for a spouse if you have been married for over 10 years I was told there are benefits if you have been married for 10 years or more?

    • John

      Yes, once she’s 62 or older.

      • BettyG

        PROVIDING they make more money than what you make!!

        that’s what i ran into when my dear hubby died 2.5 yrs. ago. since i was on ssdisability benefits, i made more than he did/month.

        • BettyG

          excuse me, i was thinking DISABILITY money…..

          i don’t know if that would apply to divorced after 10 yrs. of marriage; my apologies.

      • Com.bil

        contact you SS Office, if your situation is different than just age related.

    • Ray F.

      Hi Steve. Even if they have never worked under Social Security, your spouse may be able to get benefits if they are at least 62 years of age and you are receiving or eligible for retirement or disability benefits. See our Retirement Planner: Benefits For Your Spouse for more information.

  7. Teresa H.

    Mon., 3 April 2017

    I would like to open up a “my social security account” but how do I do this? Please send response to my email address. Thk u.

    • John

      Personal ID info is not allowed on this site.

      • BettyG

        john,

        ss asks for our email addresses at the bottom, so YES, they are able to send that info PRIVATELY to their home email or whatever email they provided 😉

        otherwise, why ask the question??

        • Ray F.

          We do not have access to personal information, therefore, we do not do direct messaging in this venue. Thanks.

      • Com.bil

        The fastest way to establish “my SS account”, is go to your nearest SS Office, and request authentication assist. The will assist.

    • Ray F.

      Great idea Teresa, to create your personal my Social Security account just click here.

  8. James C.

    I want to know if my SS check will increase, I took early SS @ age 62, I work part time & pay SS taxes My part time income last year was approximately $16,000. I have worked part time since starting to receive SS. Thanking you in advance. James.

    • John

      It might increase. Each year the SSA does a recomp of benefits in October for those who are retired and working. If you earn over the amount allowed for the year you could also be overpaid. You need to file the annual report with SS by April 15th. Do not confuse this with the income tax requirement. When you file the AR it would speed up your recomp also.

    • Don R.

      Curious about the same question…I’m 71 and still working. No increase!!!! Went to Phx. Az. office told that it would increase. Still paying in. Don

    • Ray F.

      Thank you for your question James. Generally, we use the highest years of earnings to calculate your monthly benefit amount. The amount of your Social Security benefit will depend on the amount of your average lifetime earnings. Each year we review the records for all working Social Security recipients. If your earnings for the prior year are higher than one of the years we used to compute your retirement benefit, we will recalculate your benefit amount. We will send a letter explaining any increase in your benefit amount. We hope this information helps.

  9. LESLY F.

    TO JIM I NEED TO KNOW WHAT GOING ON OR MY APPEAL CASE THANKS

    • AKA

      Jim’s not available, why don’t you check in with Social Security?

      • Maria K.

        Because the workers at the social security office refuse to help anyone

    • BettyG

      another thing you can do is contact your FEDERAL SENATOR / HOUSE REP asking them to check the status for you.

      DDS has to provide them MONTHLY updates what the status is on those they are inquiring for their constituents!!

      this way you find out how well your federal senator / house rep ARE representing & hearing you when YOU need help!!

      call your local ss office; they are able to track this too.

      took 5 yrs. of hell doing redundant paperwork on 2 apps to be approved since my lawyer quit me 4 yrs. into this and DDS / ADMIN LAW JUDGE’S office DID NOT provide my lawyer with a copy of the hearing tape per his / my requests!!

      because dds/alj didn’t provide this, lawyer DIDN’T send a BRIEF to appeals council.
      ******************************
      so after 2.5 yrs. of sitting there BEFORE anyone would look at my case, appeals council did NOT have to look thru or read my 2″ file!!
      ****************************

      they just read alj’s DENIAL & agreed!! so make sure you get HEARING TAPES from alj’s offices everyone!!!!

      my approval would have gone back 3 yrs. PRIOR to 2nd claim being approved.

      better luck to you!

      iowa recipient….

      also after being approved, when you turn OFFICIAL retirement age, you will receive SAME $$ as when being disabled!

  10. Fernando A.

    Hi,
    I want to make sure my social security number is fine and the information is actualized. How do I do this?

    • AKA

      Let me assure you that your SS is fine and actualized.

      • Com.bil

        And by what authority do you answer for Social Security ?

        • Ray F.

          Please be aware that our official agency responses will always include the Social Security Administration (SSA) seal, and that we have an official social media team dedicated to posting messages and responses to customer inquiries or comments that specifically address SSA issues. Thank you for your support and for using our blog.

          • CAMERON H.

            I HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR MS HOLMES TO CALL ME SHE SAID SHE IS GOING TO BE REINSTATING MY CHECK FRO PANAMA CITY LOCATION I AM LEAVING MY NUMBER MY FRIEND SAID HE WAS WILL TO BE A PAYEE.CALL US AT I AM IN AND OUT OF RESCUE MISSION I WANT TO GO HOME SOMEWHERE WITH IT. CALL 18506250401 ID NUMBER 0095711 I AM ONLY ALLOWED TO EAT HERE NOW I AM WAITINGFOR A PHONE CALL THE HARD WAY OUT IN THE COLD

          • Ray F.

            We apologize for any inconvenience Cameron. Unfortunately, but for security reasons, we do not have access to personal records in this blog. Please continue working with your local office. You can request to speak with the manager to see how we can help to expedite resolution of your situation. If you are unable to visit the local office, you can call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
            Just a reminder – Please be cautious about posting personal information on social media, Thanks.

      • Ray F.

        Please be aware that our official agency responses will always include the Social Security Administration (SSA) seal, and that we have an official social media team dedicated to posting messages and responses to customer inquiries or comments that specifically address SSA issues. Thanks!

    • CAMERON H.

      MY NAME IS CAMERON HARDY MY NUMBER IS 18506250401 MY SSN IS *** – ** – *** 07/13/1981

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