Social Security benefits are part of the retirement plan of almost every American worker. If you’re among the many people covered under Social Security, you should know what your future benefit may be. These monthly payments may be a vital part of your retirement income.
We base your benefit payment on how much you earned during your working career. Higher lifetime earnings result in higher benefits. If there were some years you didn’t work or had low earnings, your benefit amount may be lower than if you had worked steadily. Even if you have never worked under Social Security, you may be able to get spouse’s retirement benefits if you are at least 62 years old and your spouse receives retirement or disability benefits.
Our online retirement portal at www.ssa.gov/retirement is a great place to start mapping out your retirement plan. There, we provide important information that you should know. For example, have you considered:
• When you should apply to start retirement benefits?
• What documents you need to provide?
• Which factors may affect your retirement benefits?
• What you should remember to do after you apply for retirement benefits?
You can use your personal my Social Security account at www.ssa.gov/myaccount to get an instant estimate of your future retirement benefits. You can also see the effects of starting your retirement benefits at different ages.
Benefits for family members may also be important to you. When you start receiving Social Security retirement benefits, members of your family may also qualify to receive benefits on your record. You can learn more at www.ssa.gov/benefits. Please share this information with family and friends to help them prepare for retirement.
Daniel Damceski is the staff assistant/state liaison for central Ohio. You can write him c/o Social Security Administration, 200 N. High St., Columbus, Ohio 43215 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Demeski writes a weekly column published in The Perry County Tribune. The views of this column may not necessarily reflect those of the newspaper.