Given the concerns about whether and when Social Security funds will run out and how the program might be changed one day, it's not entirely unreasonable to think of it as Social Insecurity. Nevertheless, the program currently remains intact, and it's not a bad idea to look into what you might expect from it in retirement.
The best source of information is the horse's mouth, the Social Security Administration (SSA), and a good way to get information from the SSA is at its website: www.ssa.gov.
Even if you're not too close to retiring, you can get a record of your Social Security earnings history detailed year by year, as well as estimates of the benefits that you may qualify for, now or later. You'll simply need to fill out Form SSA-7004, which also goes by the name "Request for Social Security Statement." You can access an electronic version of this form online at the SSA website, or you can call the SSA at 800-772-1213.
At the very least, it's interesting information, and it can facilitate a stroll down memory lane as you recall your salaries of yesteryear. You may also run across some errors, which you can work on getting fixed.
These articles may also be of interest:
- 7 Social Security Myths
- Dueling Fools: Social Security
- Demystifying the Social Security "Crisis"
- Is Social Security a Rip-Off?
Learn more about retirement issues in our retirement area and our Rule Your Retirement newsletter service. The newsletter offers a lot of guidance to help you set yourself up for a comfy and enjoyable retirement, as well as specific investment recommendations. Try it for free and see for yourself -- it's easy to read in a single sitting.