Thinking about how much your monthly Social Security benefits might be is likely to be an abstract exercise for most of us.
Most people don’t really think about it or pay it much attention.
When they get closer to retirement, it becomes a more concrete reality.
Before then? Usually not.
But Social Security benefits information, including your own benefits information, has gone online.
After creating your user id and password, you proceed to your online statement.
This is way more engaging than those paper statements you used to get in the mail.
Maybe it’s because the presentation is more engaging.
Maybe it’s the psychology behind creating your own user id and password on the site, lending itself to feeling more like an ‘account’ than the paper statement.
Regardless, here’s what you’ll see:
Retirement Benefits at:
Full Retirement Age
It you wait until you are 70
If you start at 62
This can be either inspiring or discouraging. Hopefully it’ll be the former and you will be motivated to delay starting your benefits as long as you can, since that’ll lead to a bigger monthly benefit.
But, there’s also your Disability benefit information. This can be instructive if you have other disability insurance (which you hopefully have). Just like your retirement benefits, the SSA disability benefit is meant to be part of your benefit, vs. being your main source of income in the event that you become permanently disabled.
Survivor Benefits’ information is also provided.
This can serve as a good starting point to begin talking about resources your dependents would have.
So that’s also interesting to look at, because it prompts some pretty important questions.
Creating your account is pretty quick, and provides you with a clearer sense of ownership of your future benefits, most notably the retirement benefits.