Once a year my wife and I each receive in the mail our Social Security Statement. It shows us our earnings record for both social security and medicare. And it gives us an estimate of our future social security benefits depending on when we decide to retire.
Recently the Social Security Administration made these statements available online. It took me about 2 minutes to register. The process is a lot like getting your credit score online. For example, you have to answer a series of multiple choice questions about your finances (e.g., mortgages you may have, old car loans, age of your home) to verify your identity. Once registered, you get access to all the same information you receive in the mail once a year.
In my case, my earnings record goes all the way back to 1982. I made $673 that year. It’s important to check your earnings statement for errors. And SSA has a way for you to report errors online.
The estimated social security benefits depend on when you plan to retire. The online statement shows three benefit levels, based on early retirement (62), full retirement (67), or late retirement (70). For me, the difference is significant, with nearly a $1,500 difference in benefits per month between age 62 and 70.
If you want to get your statement online, you can do so at the following social security website.
Published or updated May 25, 2012.