If you are thinking about retirement, the first thing to do is to check your Social Security statement. By checking your statement, you can get an estimate for what you can expect to receive in benefits based on your real earnings. However, according to the Social Security Administration, of those who have access to their statements, only 43% check them.
Seeing how much you can expect to receive once you start claiming your benefits is important because it will impact the rest of your retirement plan. You probably won't be able to depend on your benefits alone to cover all your expenses in retirement, so you'll need some personal savings to fall back on. If you have no idea what you'll receive from Social Security, it's tough to figure out how much you'll need to save on your own.
To check your statements, you'll need to create a Social Security account. From there, you'll receive an estimate based on your past earnings. Keep in mind this estimate is for your expected full benefit amount – or the amount you'll receive by claiming at your Full Retirement Age (FRA). If you claim before or after your FRA, that will affect how much you'll receive.
Social Security is an important part of any retirement plan, but to earn as much as possible, you need to be strategic. By understanding how your benefit amount is calculated and what factors influence the amount you'll receive, you can maximize your benefits and enjoy a more comfortable retirement.
For more help in planning for your retirement, contact Stevie Swain at Swain Consulting, LLC. Call 513-818-1753, ext. 4.