Today, you can find out how much you can expect to receive from Social Security by spending a few minutes online to create an account. If this was a recipe on the Food Network, it would be rated at the "Easy" level.
Go to www.socialsecurity.gov/mystatement/. Create an account. Write down your password and the answers to the security questions in a safe place (especially if you are approaching the age where you plan to start taking Social Security!).
You'll come to a page that shows the amount you are expected to receive if you begin at "Full Retirement." Next click "View Estimated Benefits" as shown:
|Source: Social Security Administration|
This will give you three numbers: amount you would receive today (if you are over 62 years old), amount you can expect to receive at your full retirement age, and amount you can expect to receive at age 70.
This, of course, is an important first step in retirement planning. At what age to take Social Security is the next step, and here a number of variables and assumptions come into play including spousal benefits, longevity assumptions, other sources of income, etc.
While you are on the site, be sure to check that your earnings record is correct. If you are looking for a source that analyzes the question of when to take Social Security, check out A Social Security Owner's Manual by Jim Blankenship.
If you are looking to do a good deed on this beautiful Memorial Day, pass this information on to someone you think might find it useful.