by Andrea Bulen
These days there seems to be a designated day, week, or month to celebrate almost everything. Today is actually National Walk on Stilts Day and Thursday will be National Chili Dog Day. Fun? Certainly. Useful? Not so much.
On a more practical note, last week was the 2nd annual National My Social Security Week.
Although less amusing than Walk on Stilts Day or Chili Dog Day, observing this week each year should raise awareness of an important part of your retirement plan. The goal of National My Social Security Week is to encourage each of us to visit www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount and review information related to our Social Security record. Once an account is established, we are able to verify our earnings, get estimates of future benefits, and download a Social Security statement to help us make important financial decisions.
We encourage you to create a login to review your benefits and earnings history every year. Download a copy of your Social Security statement (clients of Shakespeare should then upload the statement to your client vault). We’ll use the report to update your retirement plan and determine your optimal Social Security strategy.
Determining when to start taking your Social Security benefits can be challenging. Factors to consider are: current earnings, age, age and earnings history for your spouse, other income sources, and cash flow needs. For many of us, the income we receive from Social Security will be the only inflation-linked stream of income we’ll receive in retirement -- which makes it an integral part of our retirement plan. Make sure you understand your benefits and that your earnings history is accurate.
If you are already receiving benefits, you can check benefit and payment information, get a benefit verification letter, change your address or direct deposit information and get replacement Medicare or SSA-1099 for tax season.
Visit www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount today. Let us know how it goes.