Have you wondered where your social security statements have gone? A few years ago the Social Security Administration (SSA) stopped sending yearly statements out to most folks. Recently, SSA introduced a new tool on its website to view your social security statements.
As a fee-only financial advisor I often discuss Social Security benefits with clients. It’s important to understand your statement and know what it means to you financially. Most folks think social security is only available for those in retirement years….not true. Social Security is available for those disabled and for those who have lost a spouse or parent/guardian. These additional benefits can be significant and should be understood.
Setting up your account online
The SSA requires you to set up an account online to view your statement. You can navigate your browser to https://www.socialsecurity.gov/mystatement/ to set up your account and view your statement. There is a wealth of information to be had from this website, including retirement calculators, educational info, as well as your statement.
A few highlightsThe first thing you will notice on your statement is the retirement income projection. There are three levels of benefits based on retirement age: retiring early (age 62), normal retirement age (varies based on age), and retiring at age 70. Of course, after age 62, social security can be started at anytime, but, the longer you wait, the greater the income.
You will next notice the disability projection. This is the amount you will be paid if you become disabled based on the Social Security definition of disability(which is the strictest definition).
Finally, you will see information on the survivor benefits. This is the amount that will be paid to your spouse and/or children if you die prematurely. There is a family maximum amount for this benefit. The amount stated will be paid to your child/children and/ or your spouse (up to the family maximum). The child benefit will cease once the child reaches age 18 or is still in school. There are a few exceptions to this rule but are the beyond the scope of this post.
Why these benefits matter
Most folks don’t realize the impact SSA disability and survivors benefits will have on insurance planning. These benefits are wonderful tools to assist in times of need. It’s imperative to understand how these benefits impact your financial situation. I would encourage you to review your statement and understand what these benefits mean to you.