Knowing Your Social Security Benefits

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  • #2730

    When planning for retirement many people tend to believe that their Social Security benefits will be a good source of monthly income. In fact I read recently that almost 25% of Americans rely on Social Security for 90% of their family income. With an average benefit of roughly $1,300 a month that is not a lot of moolah. While $1,300 a month is nothing to dismiss, if this is your only income you are living near the national poverty line.

    The thing is, I think most Americans are not aware of what their Social Security benefit will be. It is really easy to create an account with Social Security called My Social Security. You can sign in to see your withholdings over the course of your working life. It will also tell you what your benefits will be at different retirement ages.

    This is great information to help you know what money will be there for you when you retire, or at least what the federal government is planning on having available for you. Then you can also determine how much more you need to save in order to live the retirement life that you want. This is information that you need to consider in your overall plan.

    It also lets you keep tabs on your account and spot any potential errors that may occur. Just visit and sign up.


    My husband and I are both on social security and it is truly an eye opener. While we COULD live on the amount that we receive if we were frugal, each year it would be tighter and tighter.


    Does the Social Security Administration still give an option to begin taking social security “early?” If so, is there a rule of thumb about whether you should take it early?


    Zipporah, that is awesome! I am not sure with six kids that I could manage! Not that I would be supporting them, but I love to travel and since they are not settling near by – that means traveling to them to see grandbabies (one day!)


    Suzanne, I am not sure what age your are considering early. The earliest that you can take Social Security is age 62. I think once upon a time it might have been 59. You must start taking it by age 70. The longer you wait the greater your monthly benefit will be. I know that if I want to, I can start withdrawing form my IRAs at 59.5.

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