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Redesigned Social Security Statements and Benefit Information

One important factor in retirement planning is knowing how much your Social Security check is likely to be. With good planning, you could boost the benefits you receive when you retire. 
Luckily, the new redesigned Social Security benefit statements can help you do just that. Anyone from 18 to 80 who has contributed to the fund can access their statement. The SSA describes these new statements as one of the most effective tools people can use to learn about their earnings and future Social Security benefits. 
The statement allows millions of people to see their earnings information, and estimates of future benefits, quickly and securely. 
What should you look for in the new Social Security Statement?
The new Statement is shorter, uses visuals and plain language, and includes fact sheets tailored to a person’s age and earnings history. You can find:
·    The benefit eligibility information and estimates on page one, which are in easy to find boxes.
·    The personalized retirement benefits estimates are broken down by claiming ages in a color-bar chart.
·    Earnings record in a one-column, easy-to-read chart
·    Extra key points about benefits that are not usually clear to the public
You can see an example of the new statements here.
Retirement Benefits Estimates
Another plus is that these new statements have fact sheets tailored to different age groups to make it easier to find the information that applies to you. Look for the blue bar graph that lays out benefit estimates at nine different ages.
Here a few of the facts you need to consider when planning your retirement income:
You are first eligible for claiming Social Security at age 62, but if you take it then you take permanently reduced benefits. There are significant benefits to retiring later. Your benefit amount increases each year until you turn 70. That’s the cutoff point, so there is no reason to delay retirement past 70.
The other important information in these statements is your earnings record, as that is what your benefits are based on. “It’s important to check your earnings record on these statements,” advises Lawrence Merl, Senior Vice president Investments for David Lerner Associates. “Errors can occur, and you should check regularly that all your earnings have been included, as this affects your benefits when you retire.”
To access these new Social Security statements online, you need a My Social Security account. If you do not have one yet, go to and set it up.

Material contained in this article is provided for information purposes only and is not intended to be used in connection with the evaluation of any investments offered by David Lerner Associates, Inc. This material does not constitute an offer or recommendation to buy or sell securities and should not be considered in connection with the purchase or sale of securities.
To the extent that this material concerns tax matters, it is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by a taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed by law. 
Each taxpayer should seek independent advice from a tax professional based on his or her individual circumstances.
These materials are provided for general information and educational purposes based upon publicly available information from sources believed to be reliable– we cannot assure the accuracy or completeness of these materials. The information in these materials may change at any time and without notice.
David Lerner Associates does not provide tax or legal advice. The information presented here is not specific to any individual's personal circumstances. Member FINRA & SIPC.

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