2020 has been a challenging year to say the least. But, before bidding it adieu, there a few things you must do – especially if you plan to collect Social Security. Channel3000.com outlines three things anyone getting close to retirement age needs to do before the end of this year.
Examine Your Earnings Statement
How much money you receive in Social Security benefits is based upon how much money you made while working. So, it’s really important that the Social Security Administration (SSA) knows your actual income each year. A mistake could become costly in retirement.
If you are age 60 or older, you should receive an earnings statement in the mail each year. If you’re younger, you can see your earnings report by creating an account on the SSA website.
Make sure you carefully review your earnings statement and report any errors before the end of the year. You may need to show pay stubs, tax returns, or other documents in order to verify your true wage earnings and have them corrected.
Request a Copy of Your Credit Report
Review your credit. (Because of the pandemic, you can currently order a free credit report from Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion every week through April.) This is good advice for everyone, but especially anyone getting ready to claim Social Security.
If you see unfamiliar activity, such as new account that you did not open, that could be a sign that a criminal has your Social Security number (SSN). Identify theft can happen to anyone. It is particularly dangerous for folks who may soon start collecting benefits but haven’t signed up yet. If a criminal has your SSN, they can file a claim under your name and steal your benefit money.
If you suspect your SSN has been compromised, contact the Social Security Administration immediately.
Determine When You Want To Start Claiming Benefits
You can start claiming Social Security benefits as young as age 62. However, you will only receive your full monthly benefit if you wait until the full retirement age. The younger you claim Social Security, the less money you will receive each month. So, you need to evaluate what’s best for you financially before making that critical decision.
This is all great advice to help you increase and protect your retirement income. The Seniors Trust is committed to ensuring American retirees receive all of the money to which they are entailed. We are working hard to pass the Social Security Expansion Act. This significant piece of legislation will strengthen the long-term solvency of Social Security by expanding benefits for seniors – not cutting them.