Everyone enjoys presents, but loved ones don’t always know exactly what you want. That sweater that your relative gave you might be a little too festive for your taste. Or someone got you an appliance you already own. That’s when those happy returns begin. With gift receipt in hand, you go to the store or online to exchange that item for one you really want.
Now that the holidays are winding down, you’re also probably happy to return to your calmer routine. And part of that routine is planning for retirement. That’s where Social Security comes in.
Your secure my Social Security account allows you to do a number of important things throughout the year, at your convenience:
• Keep track of your earnings and verify them every year;
• Get an estimate of your future benefits if you are still working;
• Get a letter with proof of your benefits if you currently receive them; and
• Manage your benefits:
• Change your address;
• Start or change your direct deposit;
• Get a replacement Medicare card; and
• Get a replacement SSA-1099 or SSA-1042S for tax season.
Signing up for my Social Security at www.socialsecurity. gov/myaccount is quick, easy, and secure.
We also have another invaluable tool at www.socialsecurity.gov that you can use over and over. The Retirement Estimator allows you to calculate your potential future Social Security benefits by changing variables such as retirement dates and future earnings. You may discover that you’d rather wait another year or two before you retire to earn a higher benefit. Or, you might learn that you are ready to retire now — which you also can do online and often in less than 15 minutes. To get instant, personalized estimates of your future benefits, go to www.socialsecurity.gov/ estimator.
It’s exciting to see the happy returns you’ll be getting when you retire, and returning to my Social Security on a regular basis will ensure you get the right amount at the right time. Give yourself the gift of a secure future at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount. No ugly sweaters here.
ROSALIE ALVIAR is a Social Security Regional Public Affairs Specialist in Dallas, TX