Jane Yamamoto-Burigsay
Courtesy: Social Security Administration

Social Security has been a cornerstone of financial security for over 80 years. As you may already know, a lifetime of measured discipline can ensure a comfortable retirement. Social Security can help you plan, save and see plenty of green in your golden years.

Social Security is part of the retirement plan of almost every American worker. If you’re among the 96 percent of workers in the United States covered under Social Security, it is helpful to know the benefits that you are entitled to receive. Social Security bases your benefit payment on how much you earned during your working career. Higher lifetime earnings result in higher benefits. If there were some years that you didn’t work or had low earnings, your benefit amount may be lower than if you had worked steadily. How do you know what your retirement benefits might be so you can plan? Create a safe and secure my Social Security account to view estimates of your future retirement, disability and survivors benefits. Visit www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount and create your account today.

Social Security benefits help secure your today and tomorrow, but many people will need more retirement income. Saving for retirement is key. You might also have a pension or a 401k. Combining as many savings resources will mean more income once you retire.

Your personal my Social Security account continues to benefit you once you file for benefits and beyond. Use your account to check the status of your application, and once you start receiving benefits, use your account to manage them. For example, you can start or change your direct deposit, change your address and phone number, get proof of benefits and much more — online and at your convenience. Learn about all the great advantages of having your own my Social Security account at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.

Social Security puts you in control. Visit www.socialsecurity.gov regularly to access the ever-evolving tools and information we provide.

Jane Yamamoto-Burigsay is Social Security’s public affairs specialist in Hawai‘i.



Question:  I was told that I shouldn’t carry my Social Security card with me. Is that true?

Answer:  We encourage you to keep your Social Security card at home in a safe place. Don’t carry it with you even if you are going to new job or to meet someone who needs it — all they really need is your number, not your card. Identity theft is one of the fastest-growing crimes in America and the best way to avoid becoming a victim is to safeguard your card and number. To learn more, visit our Social Security number and card page at www.socialsecurity.gov/ssnumber.


Question:  I just returned from an overseas military deployment and I want to plan ahead. How will my military retirement affect my Social Security benefits?

Answer:  Your military retirement will not affect your Social Security benefits at all. You can get both. Generally, there is no offset of Social Security benefits because of your military retirement. You will get full Social Security benefits based on your earnings. The only way your Social Security benefit might be reduced is if you also receive a government pension based on a job in which you did not pay Social Security taxes. You can find more information in the publication, Military Service and Social Security at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10017.html. Or, call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778).


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