Early Retirement & Financial Independence Community

Early Retirement & Financial Independence Community (https://www.early-retirement.org/forums/)
-   FIRE and Money (https://www.early-retirement.org/forums/f28/)
-   -   Social Security Stops Mailing Annual Statements (https://www.early-retirement.org/forums/f28/social-security-stops-mailing-annual-statements-55482.html)

scrabbler1 04-02-2011 12:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by W2R (Post 1054517)
I just got mine last week and it was the stupidest statement.

I have been retired since November, 2009. The statement said that they "hadn't yet received" my earnings information for 2010, and that they were basing my projected amount on either my 2009 or 2010 earnings. :eek:

So, it was completely and entirely useless, a totally pie-in-the-sky estimate (When Pigs Fly!).

I went to the online SS estimator and found out what I can really expect to get.

Same here, but I have not worked since 2008. My zero wages for 2009 still never got included in their calculation so they worked up a projected benefit based on my 2008 earnings continuing to rise.

So the 2011 statement was again useless for me.

I created a spreadsheet which does the benefit calculation based on the forumla in the SSA website, so I have a reasonably good idea as to what it will when you include a bunch of zeroes in the mix.

Bestwifeever 04-02-2011 01:50 PM

Hmmmm--a couple of weeks ago we had this thread about SS statements showing a decrease in projected benefits: https://www.early-retirement.org/foru...ced-55241.html

And now SS is going to stop sending the statements. I see a connection.

BLS53 04-02-2011 03:17 PM

The estimate is not accurate for younger people anyway. Too many future years of unknown variables involved. Most people in their 20's, probably treated it as junk mail.

The new estimator on the SSA site, is much easier than the old one. Just put in your name,SSN, DOB, and mother's maiden name. It will spit out an age 62,66, and 70 benefit amount. Getting the yearly earnings to crosscheck it, will depend on you having records of your annual earnings over a lifetime. Which the average person likely doesn't maintain. The hard copy statement through the mail, had the earnings in detail.

Even with earnings records, the projected benefits are difficult to compute. I imagiine some of the people here could do it, but I've never figured it out.

mickeyd 04-02-2011 06:09 PM

I noticed that I did not get a 2010 version of my SS dream sheet, but I just assumed that they were cutting me out of their deal since I did not crank up my cash flow when I reached 66. I'm OK with less info.

FUEGO 04-02-2011 09:21 PM

Just got my statement recently. A very good reason to send them out - the non-retirement SS benefits, namely disability and survivor benefits. These will go a very long way toward supporting a dependent spouse and children. Obviates the need for life insurance for our family.

chinaco 04-03-2011 03:52 AM

I suppose another motivation to stop mailing it is the impending cuts....

The politicians probably do not want voters to have a handy reference to calculate how much they got scr3wed! Bad for reelection!

Redbugdave 04-03-2011 05:48 AM

Also, I am a Federal employee under FERS, nearing retirement. I want and need to know about my SS benefits, since a part of my retirement is tied to it...the Social Security Suppliment which I will get immediately upon retiring. When I reach 62 that portion will roll over to regular SS.

Alan 04-03-2011 06:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Redbugdave (Post 1055095)
Also, I am a Federal employee under FERS, nearing retirement. I want and need to know about my SS benefits, since a part of my retirement is tied to it...the Social Security Suppliment which I will get immediately upon retiring. When I reach 62 that portion will roll over to regular SS.

They have not stopped giving estimates, just stopped mailing an estimate every year to everyone, regardless of age or eligibility.

You can go on-line and get an immediate estimate that is more accurate than the current mailed ones, or you can call or write to them and request a written estimate. If you are 60 or older you get an estimate automatically mailed to you beginning this Fall.

DFW_M5 04-08-2011 06:40 AM

The idea of paperless statements had been mentioned last month in another thread, maybe the Gov't is monitoring the board or at least some of their workers have a good RE mindset:laugh:. Here's another article that I noticed in the paper this morning:

Social Security stopping mailed earning statements | AP Business Headlines | Dallas Busi...#

FinanceDude 04-08-2011 06:57 AM

Not a big deal. I look at my SS payment as what I will have to PAY IN when I retire. So, if it says $1400 a month, I just assume that's how much extra I will be paying in taxes when I retire each month..........:)

rescueme 04-08-2011 07:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alan (Post 1055107)
You can go on-line and get an immediate estimate that is more accurate than the current mailed ones...

True Alan and that is what I've done every month since retiring (at age 59).

What's interesting is that when I get my "hardcopy" from the annual mailing, it does match up exactly (to the dollar) of the on-line from a month before its mailing.

Since I'm currently 63 (and will not claim SS till age 70) I go online on the first of the month (the files are updated overnight, the last day of each month) and I can see my currently monthly benefit increase $10+, month by month.

Actually, this "old phart" does not see a problem as related to PC usage, as long as all the statement info (e.g. annual contributions to SS/Medicare) are shown, for validation purposes.

While my parents (no longer around) would have had a problem using a PC, I would think the current crop of "boomers" approaching retirement in the next 10+ years would have no problem at all, IMHO.

Independent 04-08-2011 08:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by travelover (Post 1054568)
I'll be the odd guy here and say I think they are a good idea for the average Joe or Jane who is otherwise clueless about what to expect from SS at retirement. I suspect many think they will get much more than they actually are due, thus this statement may spark a tiny awareness that they need to save more.

+1

I want my fellow citizens to think about their retirement finances because I believe that if more people think about it there will be fewer people who need extra taxpayer support when they are older. (By "extra", I mean things like subsidized elderly housing.)

If one person in a thousand reacts to the statement by doing some planning, the taxpayers will probably recover the cost of the statements.

I also like the statement because it verifies that my employers really notified the gov't of my earnings, and the gov't put them on my record. If they weren't automatically sending me this statement, I'd want to prompt them to verify that anyway.

rescueme 04-08-2011 09:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Independent (Post 1057357)
I want my fellow citizens to think about their retirement finances...

So do I, but I personally don't think a statement from a government on a plan that many younger folks question may be of any value in their future will make much of a difference.

Maybe if they added some additional "guessitmate" info, such as how much they could tentatively accumulate, based upon possible IRA/401(k) contributions, based upon their shown earnings record (Roth or not), some folks would consider the "whole package", and make current savings/investment decisions based upon that “total view”.

However, when you're showing info, as just a single component of a total retirement income plan, you are not showing something that may be of interest as related to show folks how they may be facing retirement years.

It may encourage those who are not saving/investing on their own to take action to ensure their retirement income future, and include future SS as just a portion of that total plan.

The earnings info and the projected SS benefits are there. Why can't they come up with a way to show/project it in a manner to those that are not aware of planning requirements to take action, if needed?

Just my POV...

FANOFJESUS 04-08-2011 10:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Independent (Post 1057357)
+1

I want my fellow citizens to think about their retirement finances because I believe that if more people think about it there will be fewer people who need extra taxpayer support when they are older. (By "extra", I mean things like subsidized elderly housing.)

If one person in a thousand reacts to the statement by doing some planning, the taxpayers will probably recover the cost of the statements.

I also like the statement because it verifies that my employers really notified the gov't of my earnings, and the gov't put them on my record. If they weren't automatically sending me this statement, I'd want to prompt them to verify that anyway.

+1

Some people will wake up to late at 60 and not much they can do about it then.

jazz4cash 04-09-2011 01:04 PM

I guess it is designed for people like me. I am 8 yrs from eligibility and still working. The estimate on the SS website is spot on with the statement I received in Feb. I think the statement is good, especially to remind people of the other disablity and dependent benefits but it makes sense to eliminate/suspend the expense of annual mailings. An annual postcard as a reminder to go online and use the estimator tool might be an appropriate substitute.

Sossy 04-09-2011 01:17 PM

I agree the online statements and web version would save a ton of money - but here are some challenges: Too many people do not have access to a computer, or are not computer literate. Or perhaps have disabilities that make computers a challenge. I was amazed, when I managed a healthcare clinic, at the number of staff members who did not know how to do email (this is recent, not ages ago). We had docs who wouldn't use the computer & resisted doing anything on it. We had young clerks who could enter patient appointments, but had to get training to figure out email or web usage. As for the patients - well, it was an indigent care clinic & most didn't have computers.

I can see why SS still has to use Snail Mail, but maybe someday they can find a way for people to opt out of the paper trail.

jdw_fire 04-10-2011 02:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rescueme (Post 1057366)
So do I, but I personally don't think a statement from a government on a plan that many younger folks question may be of any value in their future will make much of a difference.

Maybe if they added some additional "guessitmate" info, such as how much they could tentatively accumulate, based upon possible IRA/401(k) contributions, based upon their shown earnings record (Roth or not), some folks would consider the "whole package", and make current savings/investment decisions based upon that “total view”.

However, when you're showing info, as just a single component of a total retirement income plan, you are not showing something that may be of interest as related to show folks how they may be facing retirement years.

It may encourage those who are not saving/investing on their own to take action to ensure their retirement income future, and include future SS as just a portion of that total plan.

The earnings info and the projected SS benefits are there. Why can't they come up with a way to show/project it in a manner to those that are not aware of planning requirements to take action, if needed?

Just my POV...

lol and i bet you dont want to pay any extra in taxes for this added work.

rescueme 04-10-2011 04:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jdw_fire (Post 1057994)
lol and i bet you dont want to pay any extra in taxes for this added work.

Sorry; I'm retired and on a "fixed income", don't you know? :laugh:...

I can't afford anything extra (and anyway, I have my own analysis software to get the result...)

freebird5825 06-20-2011 07:43 AM

In the absence of annual hardcopy statements, I created a calendar reminder to check my future SS benefits using the online estimator at www.ssa.gov/estimator
The reminder pinged me today, so I ran the Estimator and was happy to see that my future benefits are with $10 of my last hardcopy statement dated September 2009. All is well. ;D
I used the scenario creation tool to enter a retirement age of 52 (my current age) and future earnings of zero (FIREd). I was not allowed to enter my real retirement age of 48, but entering 52 was close enough. My 2009 hardcopy statment shows a stop w*rking age of 48, so I feel pretty good about the data integrity of my own SS records.
The Retirement Benefit Estimate was very brief...it consisted of only the *Retirement data (3 values for benefit amounts at FRA 66yrs 8mos, age 70, and age 62) listed under Your Retirement Benefits (from page 2 of the hardcopy version). There was no *Disability, *Family, or *Survivors data provided.
What I could not find was a way to view my Earnings Record (from page 3 of the hardcopy version) online.
Has anyone else tried to verify their Earnings Record? Were you able to find a way to successfully get a complete set of data online?

gerntz 06-20-2011 12:22 PM

I can't even get a estimate online as the birth date they have for me on the mailings is wrong. So when I try to enter either the right or wrong date the site comes back as says we can't match either to their records. I wonder why? LOL.


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:16 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.