Football and Social Security
By: Vonda VanTil, Social Security Public Affairs Specialist
Good coaching and a great playbook can make all the difference in the world for a winning football team. Fail to create a sound game plan, and you’re likely to miss opportunities and fall behind.
The same is true for retirement—except you call the plays, including when to retire and how much to save. If you walk onto the retirement field without a game plan, you may have to work longer than you had hoped. You certainly don’t want to find yourself unable to have the comfortable retirement you envisioned.
You may have to call your own financial plays, but Social Security has tools to help you. We can help you decide what options might be successful in any situation you may find yourself in.
For example, how much can you expect to get from Social Security? How much more could you get if you worked a year longer? Two years? What about your spouse, if you are married? And are you saving enough in addition to your expected Social Security benefits?
By simply visiting www.socialsecurity.gov, you can get answers to all of these questions. You will find several financial planning tools, including our easy-to-use and secure Retirement Estimator. You can use it to get quick retirement estimates based upon your own earnings record. It’s like training camp for financial planning.
All you have to do is provide some information about yourself to verify who you are for security purposes—your name, Social Security number, date and place of birth, your mother’s maiden name, and an estimate of your last year’s earnings. The Retirement Estimator will then create Social Security benefit estimates based on your entire career earnings record.
The Retirement Estimator shows what you could receive in Social Security benefits if you retire at age 62, what you could receive at your full retirement age, and what you could receive if you work until age 70.
Interested in other play options, such as what will happen if you made more money in the future? Or if you want to stop work at a different age than the three we show you? You can try out alternate game plans using the Retirement Estimator if you change your mind about your initial retirement plans.
The last thing you want to do is depend on a “Hail Mary” pass when it comes to your retirement. With a good game plan, you will score a retirement touchdown.
Remember what one of football's most accomplished and respected coaches, Vince Lombardi, said: “There's only one way to succeed in anything, and that is to give it everything.” So give everything you have to developing the playbook for your retirement. And the best place to begin your game plan for a successful retirement is at www.socialsecurity.gov.
Vonda VanTil is the public affairs specialist for West Michigan. You can write her c/o Social Security Administration, 3045 Knapp St NE, Grand Rapids MI 49525 or via email at email@example.com