In Part 1 of this series we reviewed how to obtain your Social Security statement and looked more closely at some of the items that appear on page 1. In Part 2, we focused on Page 2 of the statement, with particular emphasis on how your retirement benefit estimates are calculated. Now, we are ready to proceed to:
Part 3. The highlight of Part 3 is your Social Security Earnings Record. In Wanda’s statement, her earnings record is fairly short, as she did not begin her working career until 1989. Also notice that the two columns – Your Taxed Social Security Earnings and Your Taxed Medicare Earnings – are exactly the same in Wanda’s case. This is because all of her earnings were below the Social Security wage base, which was $110,100 in 2012 and grew to $113,700 in 2013. (more…)
In Part 1 of this series we reviewed how to obtain your Social Security statement and looked more closely at some of the items that appear on page 1. Now, we are ready to proceed to Page 2 of the statement.
Here’s where it gets interesting! Starting at the top, under Retirement, we look at, but often don’t see, the following language, which I’m going to bold for emphasis: “At your current earnings rate, if you continue working until…” We then see figures estimating our benefits if we file for benefits at various ages.
If you are 60 years old, the benefit ages shown will be 66, 70, and 62. If you are already 64, the ages shown will be 66, 70, and 64. In our sample statement, Wanda Worker will be 40 years old in April 2013. That means that her Full Retirement Age will be 67, under current rules, and thus the estimates are for ages 67, 70, and 62. But the key point here is that those estimates are based on the assumption that she will continue to work and earn the same amount that she earned the previous year (or the year before that) until the age in question. (more…)
If you are approaching eligibility for Social Security retirement benefits – or are already past age 62 – you are used to receiving your latest statement in the mail every year. You may or may not have noticed that you didn’t receive one in 2011, but depending on how close you were to filing for benefits you may not have cared very much either way.
Getting Your Current Statement [This is new material!] (more…)