Saturday, September 28, 2013

Easy to Get Benefit Estimates

Susan from Ohio, who is now age 61, wants to know how much her social security benefits will be if she retires at 65 (note that this will be a reduced benefit because full retirement age is currently age 66).  It is very easy to request a benefit estimate. You can either go to your local SS office to request it in person (this usually requires a large amount of waiting time in urban areas), you can call, you can mail a written request to the local office, or you can request it online, although you will have to set up an account if you want a Social Security Statement of your actual earnings record.  

The Statement will not be provided immediately.  Expect to wait a month or two.  You will receive a Social Security Statement of your earnings record which will include the estimate.  Make sure you review this to confirm that the reported earnings are accurate, because the amount of your benefits will be calculated based on your earnings.  You can correct errors, but ordinarily you can’t go back more than 4 years.

If you want immediate information, you can get  rough estimates online at the Social Security website. See below for details.

Here are links you may find helpful:

Online Quick Calculator (rough estimate)

The Online page to make an account to manage your benefits, including a request for a Social Security Statement:

Phone Number  1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778)

The Social Security Office Locator:

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