Check The National Registry Of Unclaimed Benefits
Are You Eligible For Social Security
To be eligible for Social Security benefits, you must earn at least 40 credits over your working career. How those credits are calculated is complex, but you will likely qualify if you have worked for at least 10 years.
You may be entitled to a spousal benefit because of your partners work history. If your spouse, ex-spouse, or deceased spouse has earned 40 credits, you may qualify. The Social Security Administration provides more info about this option.
But your work history is not only used as part of the qualification criteria it is also used to figure out the amount of your payment. In calculating your monthly retirement benefit, the SSA considers your highest-earning 35 years of work history. If you worked for less than 35 years, the SSA will use zero for some years.
The higher your earnings over those 35 years, the greater your contribution to the program through FICA taxes, and the higher your benefit will be.
The same threshold applies to both your earnings and your benefits. This amount is $142,800 in 2021, and it will raise to $147,000 for the 2022 tax year.
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How To Get A New Social Security Card
If you lose your Social Security card, you dont need a replacement in most cases. Just knowing your number is enough, SSA says.
If you do need a replacement, you can apply online with a free my Social Security account or in-person. If you cant use your account to request a replacement card, you can still start the process and complete it at a local Social Security office, typically more quickly, SSA says. In that case, though, youll need to provide required documents, such as a birth certificate, drivers license and passport.
8 things to know: What you should learn about your benefits
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I Have Never Accessed Mysocial Security And I Do Not Have A Logingov Or Idme Credential:
Visit www.ssa.gov/myaccount to get started. You will have the option to create an account with our preferred credential partner, Login.gov. You can also access your information with an ID.me account if you have one. Keep in mind:
- You must be 18 years of age or older, have a Social Security number and a U.S. mailing address.
- You will be redirected to the partners website when you select Sign In with Login.gov or Sign in with ID.me.
- You must provide a valid email address and some additional information.
- Once you create the credential, you will return to the mySocial Security webpage for next steps.
What To Consider When Deciding On A Financial Advisor
As you review potential financial advisors and determine if one is right for you, there are a few factors to consider when deciding whether to pay a financial advisor.
Take into account:
· Your financial goals – How will a financial advisor help you achieve your financial goals?
· Your current financial situation – What is your current financial situation? Do you have the current assets and/or income needed to invest in a financial advisor?
· What you expect from a financial advisor – What do you expect a financial advisor to do for you?
· Your financial knowledge and skills – Are you comfortable with your current level of financial knowledge and skills? If not, do you need assistance in areas that you lack knowledge and/or skills in?
· The type of assistance you seek – Are you seeking investment advice or guidance on insurance, taxes, and other financial matters? What type of assistance do you seek from a financial advisor?
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Social Security Cola : When Will My Benefits Increase Begin
Late last year, the Social Security Administration announced the biggest payment increase for the program in decades. Every year since 1975, the SSA has instituted a cost-of-living adjustment after analyzing rates of inflation to see how much to increase beneficiary amounts to help recipients keep up with the cost of goods.
The latest COLA is a record 8.7% bump, taking into account the rampant rates of inflation that have been affecting Americans all year. As noted by CBS, the last time Social Security saw this kind of increase was back in 1981 when the SSA announced a COLA of 11.2%.
The news of the 2023 payment increase comes as a relief to the many seniors and other beneficiaries of Social Security who have been struggling to pay bills and buy groceries as prices keep rising.
According to the latest Consumer Price Index report , the cost of food is up 11.2% over this time last year while utilities like electric and piped gas are up 19.8% and the cost of housing is up 6.6%.
With the payment increase in 2023, Forbes said 8.7% more will equate to an average added monthly benefit of $144 for individuals and $240 extra for couples filing jointly. But the biggest question on many peoples minds is: When will these increases start being reflected in monthly payments?
Medicare premium decreases will also take effect in January 2023.
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Class Two Members: Membership Effective Prior To July 1 2012
- You can retire and receive an unreduced monthly retirement benefit after 28 years of service or at age 65 or older.
- You can retire early, at age 60, or at age 55 with 25 years of service, and receive a reduced monthly retirement benefit.
- You must have at least five years of earned service to receive a benefit.
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See How The Cola Increase Is Changing Your Benefits Amount In 2023
The 2023 cost-of-living adjustment increase has already arrived for some beneficiaries of Social Security, Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Disability Income. Since the Social Security Administration disburses the checks in rounds, you might have to wait a few weeks to see your 2023 benefit amount. Don’t want to wait for your check’s arrival to see how much of a bump the COLA is giving you? There are a few alternatives.
If you created an online My Social Security account by Nov. 15, you can now see by how much your check is boosted — we’ll explain below how to find the document with your COLA increase.
A My Social Security account will show you your current or expected future benefits, based on your expected retirement age and your work history. You can also get documents for filing your taxes, request a benefit verification letter or change your mailing address and other personal information.
Here’s how to access your Social Security benefits online, and what sort of information and features you’ll be able to access with your My Social Security account. If you receive benefits now, here’s the Social Security payment schedule for January. Also, here’s why SSI beneficiaries won’t be receiving a January check.
How To Find And Claim Your Old Retirement Accounts
Whether you quit on your own accord, are fired, or laid off, leaving a job can be hectic. In the midst of the transition, dealing with a retirement account might get pushed pretty low on your to-do list.
While the money you contributed is yours forever, accounts can sometimes get forgotten about in the shuffle. And, in some cases, you may not have even realized youd had a retirement account if your employer automatically signed you up and withheld contributions.
Whether intentional or not, you can wind up with a handful of retirement accounts at different companies and lose track of some of them over time. Former employers and plan administrators may lose track of your current contact information.
Heres how to check and track down old accounts, and what you can do to get your finances organized.
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The Cola Will Have Tax Implications For Some Seniors
In some cases, the 8.7% increase in monthly Social Security payments will push seniors into income ranges where Social Security benefits become taxable. The federal tax code requires Social Security taxpayers to calculate their combined income, which is defined as their adjusted gross income, tax-exempt interest income and half of their Social Security benefits.
Those who earn a combined income of less than $25,000 a year for single filers or $32,000 for joint filers pay no tax on their Social Security benefits. Taxpayers earning between those thresholds and up to $34,000 for single filers or $44,000 for joint filers pay tax on up to 50% of their benefits. Above those levels, up to 85% of Social Security benefits are taxed.
Because of the high COLA in 2023, many Social Security beneficiaries who dont pay income taxes now might be pushed into income levels where they are taxed. Others might face higher tax rates.
Alternatives To Using A Financial Advisor
Using a financial advisor is certainly not your only option as you plan for retirement. You can always start by assessing your current financial situation and current level of knowledge and skills in various financial areas. What assistance do you need from someone else and can you do it on your own?
Disclosure: Diversified, LLC is an investment adviser registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission . Registration of an investment adviser does not imply any specific level of skill or training and does not constitute an endorsement of the firm by the SEC. A copy of Diversifieds current written disclosure brochure which discusses, among other things, the firms business practices, services and fees, is available through the SECs website at: www.adviserinfo.sec.gov. Investments in securities involve risk, including the possible loss of principal. The information on this website is not a recommendation nor an offer to sell securities in the United States or in any other jurisdiction.
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How To Find Your 2023 Cola Notice Online
If you havent set up a my Social Security account, youll need to create one by Nov. 15 to receive your COLA notice online. With the SSAs new beta website, you can sign in or create an account by clicking sign in in the top right corner. The sign-in button is blue and in the center of the screen.
Once you log into your personal account, check the Message Center in early December to find your 2023 COLA notice. You also can use the Message Center to opt out of receiving mailed notices and set your preferences to receive text or email alerts when there is a new message waiting.
For security purposes, you should always access the Social Security website directly through your browser by entering the address. To avoid scams, dont click any third-party links through emails.
Does Cola Really Keep Up With Inflation
There has been a lot of discussion over the past two years over how COLA hasnt kept up with the actual inflation rate. On a strictly numerical basis, this was true in 2021 and 2022, when CPI rates reached as high as 7% and 9.1% while COLA jumped just 5.9% and 8.7% for the subsequent years.
However, over the long run, COLA has done a very good job of boosting payments to keep retirees checks in line with inflation, according to data from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. This assertion is supported by the year-by-year data, which shows benefits more than doubling from 2003 to 2023.
The reason that COLA tends to run in line with long-term inflation rates is that COLA lags real-world data a bit, meaning it moves up slowly and moves down slowly. When inflation rates spiked in 2021 and 2022, COLA began moving upward but didnt quite reach the headline CPI numbers. But, when inflation falls, COLA also will drop more slowly, meaning in coming years it may very well be above the CPI.
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Consider The Logistics Of Working After Retirement
You must look ahead into other streams of revenue. Whether it be other investments or continuing in the workforce longer in a full or part-time capacity, to help you live comfortably into your senior years.
There are several logistics of working after retirement that youll need to consider. For example, if bringing in additional income will adversely affect or have no impact on your social security benefits when youll need to start withdrawing money how to keep contributing to your 401 or other retirement savings plans how and if working will affect your Medicare policy.
While there are several resources available to help you in your post-retirement journey, make sure to always consult the Social Security Administration to double-check your resources.
You can work while still receiving Social Security retirement: The SSA notes that you can work while you receive Social Security retirement or survivors benefits but it does review the records of all Social Security beneficiaries who have wages reported for the previous year. And if your latest year of earnings is one of your highest years, the SSA will recalculate your benefit and pay you any increase you are due. That increase is retroactive to January of the year after you earned the money.
Take time to review early, full and delayed retirement: The age you plan to retire could very well influence your decision to work or how many hours you work.
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Finding Old Retirement Accounts
You may want to start by contacting your former employers and the plan administrators, the companies that ran the retirement plan. Sometimes, youll find that your retirement account is still there and chugging along as is, hopefully growing in value over time. If you want, you may be able to leave it there, although update the company with your current contact information so it can let you know about any important changes.
However, its not always that easy. If your account had less than $5,000 in it when you left, the plan administrator can transfer the funds to an individual retirement account that was set up in your name. If it had less than $1,000, the company may have tried to send you a check for the amount to the address it had on file. You may also have trouble tracking down the account if the company went bankrupt or switched plan administrators, leaving it up to you to figure out who is holding onto the money now.
One thing is certainother companies dont get to keep your money. If a company cant figure out how to contact you, it has to turn unclaimed funds over to state agencies. You can start searching for your unclaimed funds in these databases:
Once you find your account or money, youll still need to decide what to do with it.
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How To Find Out How Much More Money Youre Getting
The SSA said it will mail COLA notices throughout the month of December to retirement, survivors and disability beneficiaries, along with SSI recipients and representative payees. These notices will let you know how much your new payment will be.
If you want to find out about your new benefit amount sooner, you can get your Social Security COLA notice online using the Message Center in your personal mySocial Security account. The online information will be available in early December, prior to receiving the mailed notice. Benefit amounts will not be available before then.
Discover Where Your Funds May Have Been Transferred
If your former employer does not have your old 401, you can search on the Department of Labors abandoned plan database. You will be able to search for your plan using the information you already have, including your name, your employers name and more. If you had a traditional pension plan and it no longer exists, you can search the U.S. Pension Guaranty Corp. database to find your unclaimed pension.
Finally, you may want to search the National Registry of Unclaimed Retirement Benefits. This service is available nationwide and has records of account balances unclaimed by former retirement plan participants.
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When Will My Increase Begin
For anyone receiving Social Security benefits, the new payment amount will start in January 2023, according to the SSA. For those receiving Supplemental Security Income, the new payment amounts will begin Dec. 30, 2022. Beneficiaries who receive both types will see their payments follow the same schedule, with the SSI increase arriving shortly before the Social Security increase.
How To Find Unclaimed Retirement Benefits
Many employers offer retirement accounts and benefits, and some will even match their employees contributions. However, most people leave employers several times throughout their careers. In leaving one job and taking on another, some employees forget to take their 401 or other retirement accounts with them. If theres a chance you have unclaimed retirement benefits but arent sure how to access them, knowing how to find your unclaimed retirement benefits can be extremely beneficial. Keep in mind that getting help from a financial advisor might save you a great deal of time in finding that money.
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