Financial wellness can be yours in 2013
Bartels, Social Security district manager in
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SPRINGFIELD -- January is
Financial Wellness Month -- a great time to think about your own
financial future. It also happens to be at this time that many
people make resolutions for the New Year. Why not combine the two
and make your own financial wellness a resolution for 2013?
Here are suggested resolutions for your financial wellness.
Start your financial plan with your Social Security statement.
The online statement is easy to use and provides estimates you
should consider in planning for your retirement. It provides
estimates for disability and survivor benefits, making the statement
an important financial planning tool. Your statement allows you to
review and ensure that your earnings are accurately posted to your
Social Security record. This feature is important because Social
Security benefits are based on average earnings over your lifetime.
If the information is incorrect or if you have earnings missing from
your record, you may not receive all the benefits to which you are
entitled in the future. Check at
Work the numbers. Once you get your online statement, you can use
the other free resources provided by Social Security. Use the
Retirement Estimator, where you can get a personalized, instant
estimate of your future retirement benefits, using different
retirement ages and scenarios. Visit the Retirement Estimator at
Once you are in the know, choose to save. The earlier you begin
your financial planning, the better off you will be. Social Security
replaces about 40 percent of the average worker’s pre-retirement
earnings. Most financial advisers say you will need 70 percent or
more of pre-retirement earnings to live comfortably. You also will
need other savings, investments, pensions or retirement accounts to
make sure you have enough money to live comfortably when you retire.
Visit the Ballpark Estimator for tips to help you save:
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Do some light reading. Learn more about Social Security, the
benefit programs, and what they mean to you and your family, by
browsing through the online library of Social Security publications.
In particular, the publication entitled "When To Start Receiving
Retirement Benefits" provides helpful information regarding the
things you should consider when making a decision on when to collect
retirement benefits. Many of the publications also are available in
audio format and other formats. The library at
www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs is always open.
Help someone you love. Sometimes we get the most satisfaction out
of helping someone else. If you have a grandparent, parent, relative
or friend who could benefit from Social Security, share the website
and the features of the online services with them. You can even help
a loved one apply for Social Security benefits in as little as 15
minutes -- or for Extra Help with Medicare prescription drug costs.
Whether you forward a publication or sit down to help someone apply
for Social Security, the place to go is
There are a number of ways you can celebrate Financial Wellness
Month, so start off the New Year by looking out for your own
financial wellness at
[Text from file received from the
Social Security office