Social Security: Your resolutions for 2011 |

Social Security: Your resolutions for 2011

It’s that time of year: out with the old and in with the new. You may be thinking about your list of New Year’s resolutions for 2011. There are many important things to consider. May we suggest a few? Each of these will take only a matter of minutes.

1. Get an estimate of your future Social Security benefit. In just a few minutes, you can have an instant, personalized estimate of your future Social Security benefit. Our online Retirement Estimator gives estimates based on your actual Social Security earnings record. This is valuable to know when you’re making plans for your future. Check it out at

2. Read your mail. Be especially careful about looking at mail that arrives from Social Security. About two to three months before your birthday, you should receive your annual Social Security Statement. Your Statement is a concise, easy-to-read personal record of the earnings on which you have paid Social Security taxes during your working years and a summary of the estimated benefits you and your family may receive in retirement, survivors or disability benefits as a result of those earnings.

3. Visit the ballpark. Not that one; the Ballpark Estimator. It will help you do a better job of saving for your future. It’s true that times have been tough lately. But no matter how much you earn, it’s a good idea to try to save. Check out the Ballpark Estimator for a projection of how much you should save for a comfortable retirement. Go to the ballpark at

Deciding to diet, exercise, read more books, or watch less television are all good resolutions. But the ones we suggest don’t require nearly as much work and won’t nag you all year long. Take a few minutes now, and you could have this list of resolutions knocked out in less time than it takes to put together a list of resolutions.

Happy New Year from Social Security. Visit us anytime at

kathy petersen is the public affairs specialist for south dakota and eastern wyoming. you can write her c/o social security administration, 605 main, suite 201, rapid city, sd, 57701 or via e-mail at kathy. next week kathy discusses baby boomers who turn 65 years old in 2011.


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