3 social security measures to take before the end of the year

IIf you are nearing retirement, you may be thinking about claiming Social Security at some point in 2022. But even if that’s not your plan at all, it’s still worth removing these important Social Security tasks from your list before the end of 2021.

1. Know the age of your full pension

The Social Security benefits you are entitled to in retirement will be based on your income, especially the amount of money you earn during your 35 best-paid years in the workforce. Once you reach full retirement age, or FRA, you can receive your benefit in full.

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It is important to know your FRA because you are allowed to claim benefits before you reach it. In fact, you can subscribe to Social Security from 62 years old. But for every month you deposit with FRA, your benefits will be reduced.

Knowing your FRA can help you better plan for your retirement. And it can also prevent you from claiming benefits too early. This is what your FRA looks like, depending on the year you were born:

year of birth

Full retirement age

1943-1954

66

1955

66 and 2 months

1956

66 and 4 months

1957

66 and 6 months

1958

66 and 8 months

1959

66 and 10 months

1960 or later

67

Data source: Social security administration.

2. Estimate your future profit

As you plan for your retirement, it will help you to know the monthly income to be expected from Social Security. As we have just learned, benefits depend on income and when you claim them. But it can be useful to have a rough estimate of the monthly benefit to which you are entitled. And a great place to access this information is on your annual income statement.

You can find your income statement by creating an account on SSA.gov – although if you are 60 years of age or over, you should receive these documents by mail.

One thing you need to know is that the closer you get to retirement, the more accurate your benefit estimate will be. On the other hand, if you are 40 years old, the number you see on screen can be quite low, as a lot of things could happen in terms of salary between now and your retirement. But still, it never hurts to get a feel for how much income you might be online for.

3. Fight for a raise

What does an increase have to do with Social Security? A lot. The more money you earn over the course of your career, the higher the benefits you may be entitled to upon retirement.

If your employer hasn’t offered a raise until 2022, you may need to be proactive in requesting one. Look up the pay date for your role and industry and see if you can advocate for more money. Keep in mind that many businesses face labor shortages these days, so your employer may be more flexible than expected in the payroll department.

Social Security might not be the kind of thing you think about unless you are on the cusp of retirement. But it’s always a good idea to know your FRA, estimate your future salary, and keep fighting for higher earnings in the hopes of someday being in line for a more generous benefit.

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