4 ways to get to know your Social Security benefits

Social Security benefits play an important part in most people’s retirement plans. The fact is, it’s a good idea to find out what to expect from your benefits long before you’re ready to retire. Here are four ways to get to know your benefits now.

What is Social Security?
The federal benefits program reaches almost every family, and at some point, touches the lives of nearly all Americans. For many, Social Security means retirement income, if you’ve been contributing during your working years. The program replaces a percentage of your pre-retirement income based on your lifetime earnings.

Find out how to verify your earnings
To get started, you’ll need to understand how your present work history impacts your future Social Security benefits. Today’s earnings get calculated using your employment records. This estimate is based on what employers submit to the U.S. Social Security Administration. That’s why it’s important to log in to your personal my Social Security account. If you haven’t registered for an account, you can do that when you get to the website. Check these employment records annually and ensure your earnings get recorded accurately.

Estimate your benefits
Social Security benefits are part of a strong retirement plan. After verifying your benefit, you’ll want to take steps to ensure you have enough additional retirement income for a comfortable quality of life. To find that number, the administration has several estimator calculators to fit your financial situation.

You can use these calculators to find your recommended retirement age or life expectancy. You can also estimate your future potential benefit amount. As a result, you’ll have a better picture of how much money you’ll need from other income sources to fund your retirement.

Manage your benefits
Finally, you’ll want to get mobile. Download the app, or bookmark and access your my Social Security account from a computer. Remember, there’s no need to visit a field office when you can go online and take care of most of your Social Security-related business.

April is National Social Security Month. You can also contact your local Social Security office or Medicare and Seniors’ Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) with the N.C. Department of Insurance.

Article provided by Local Government Federal Credit Union.

The advice provided is for informational purposes only. Contact your financial advisor for additional guidance.