Social Security’s Retirement Estimator: A Useful Tool in Planning for the Future

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social security is important for seniors, retirees, elderly and senior citizensYou’ve probably heard that it’s the 75th anniversary of Social Security. However, there is another important birthday going on.

Social Security’s online Retirement Estimator is now celebrating its second anniversary.  The Retirement Estimator stands as the most popular online service in both the public and private sector “” a position it shares with another popular service, Social Security’s Benefit Application.  That’s according to the most recent annual American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), which came out earlier this year. In an index ranking online services, Social Security’s Retirement Estimator and Benefit Application take the top spots, each with a score of 90. What’s the highest ranking service in the private sector? It’s Netflix, with a score of 87, tying with Social Security’s Help with Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Costs application.

The onlineRetirement Estimator is a convenient, secure, and quick financial planning tool that lets you calculate how much you might expect to receive in Social Security benefits when retirement rolls around. The tool uses your actual earnings information on file at Social Security, without displaying your personal information. So you get an instant estimate of your future retirement benefits.

TheRetirementEstimator even lets you run personalized scenarios and “what if” situations. For example, you can change the date you expect to retire or change expected future earnings to create and compare different retirement options. This can help you as you plan ahead.

And, it’s so easy to use.

To use theRetirement Estimator, you must have enough Social Security credits to qualify for benefits and you must not already be receiving monthly benefits.

We may take a few moments to celebrate this birthday, but we’re not resting on our laurels just yet. Later this year Social Security plans to introduce a Spanish-language version of the Retirement Estimator.

High customer service scores are a great birthday present for the two-year-old Retirement Estimator.  Come join the celebration and get an instant, personalized estimate of your future Social Security benefits. Visit www.socialsecurity.gov/estimator.

Mike Weakland is the Social Security Area Director in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area.

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