Today, I was scrolling through Facebook. I saw a post that stood out to me. Someone from a financial group I am in posted about social security benefits. He alerted everyone in the group to check out their credits today. He said checking them could provide useful to anyone wanting to retire early and still have access to benefits later in life. I got curious and went to pull up my Social Security eligibility and earnings.
Social Security Site and Features
You have to go through a lot to access your information on the Social Security website. You must create a login, verify your social, and scan a copy of your personal ID to verify your account. When you go to log on, you also have to type in a special code. Once on the site, it’s easy to navigate to the retirement tool, track your eligibility credits, and see your full earning record.
Accessing Your Credits
You can check your credits earned once you logged into the main page, under eligibility and earnings. It will tell you the precise number of credits you hold. Remember, you only need 40 to secure a retirement check later in life. If you want to see how much money you have earned through your working life, pull up the full earning record. It lists your work years, your taxed Social Security and Medicare earnings, and total taxes paid into the system by both you and your employer.
What It Means For Retirement
Right now, I am looking to retire in about ten years. Based on the social security credits I earned over the last ten years, I have earned the minimum 40 credits needed to receive benefits later in life. If I stopped working today, it would not be much to live on. They are quoting a little under $600 a month at age 67. While I can not retire today, I can use the Social Security Eligibility and Earnings tool to track my earnings over the next ten years. Using the retirement tool, I can plug in my estimated earnings, retirement age, and calculate expected earnings. This will ensure I have an adequate amount paid into the system before taking my early departure.
Shatel Huntley has a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Georgia State University. In her spare time, she works with special needs adults and travels the world. Her interests include traveling to off the beaten path destinations, shopping, couponing, and saving.