Contributed by: Melissa Parkins, CFP®
You may recall that Social Security benefits statements used to be mailed out to workers every year a few months before your birthday. Then in 2011, due to budget cuts, the Social Security Administration (SSA) decided to stop mailing annual statements to save money. Another change came in 2014 when the mailing of paper statements partially resumed. Since then, paper statements are mailed at five-year intervals to workers who have not signed up to receive their statements online. These annual mailings are sent to workers at ages 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, and 60 and over.
Why Wait 5 Years? Sign up Online!
An easy alternative to waiting every 5 years to receive a Social Security benefits statement is to sign up for a My Social Security account. You can follow the easy step-by-step directions Jim Smiertka shared in his recent blog on how to sign up. Once you are enrolled, you will no longer receive paper statements in the mail at the five-year intervals. Instead, you will have access to them on a continual basis through your My Social Security account. You will need to log in first, but then your statements are always at your fingertips.
The Benefits of Tracking Your Benefits
No matter your age, reviewing these statements annually is important. They provide a valuable reminder of what you can expect to get back in the future from payroll taxes paid. It is also important to review your earnings history to make sure there are no missing years or discrepancies. It is better to catch it early and get it corrected than having it go unnoticed for years and having to deal with getting it corrected when it is time to apply for benefits. Whether you are still working or not, your social security benefits are an important part of your financial plan. Please share your statements with us on an annual basis so we can better help you plan for your future!
Melissa Parkins, CFP® is an Associate Financial Planner at Center for Financial Planning, Inc.
This material is being provided for information purposes only and is not a complete description, nor is it a recommendation. The information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. Any opinions are those of Melissa Parkins, CFP® and not necessarily those of Raymond James. Links are being provided for information purposes only. Raymond James is not affiliated with and does not endorse, authorize or sponsor any of the listed websites or their respective sponsors. Raymond James is not responsible for the content of any website or the collection or use of information regarding any website's users and/or members.