Do this during tax season to maximize your Social Security benefits

Tax season is a great time to make sure your Social Security benefits statement accurately reflects your earnings history. You will have all the documents you need at your fingertips to correct any mistake.

The annual statement details how much you earned each year to estimate monthly benefits, which are based on an average of your highest 35 years of earnings. An error in your earnings history could cost you thousands of dollars in retirement.

“Just like you review your 401(k) statements, you need to check your Social Security statements because it is a big part of your retirement income,” said David Freitag, a financial planning consultant at the MassMutual Financial Group.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) processed 92,000 complaints about statements in fiscal 2016.

Those official figures may underestimate the number of statement errors. The Government Accountability Office found last year that the SSA often fails to give out key details to people that could cost them tens of thousands of dollars in retirement benefits.

The SSA recently stopped sending out paper statements to people under age 60 to save an estimated $11.3 million this fiscal year.

You can review your statement online with a My Social Security account. More than 26 million people have opened an online Social Security account.

You can read the other half of this article on USA Today here: http://usat.ly/2paQf2S

2017-04-07T19:43:51+00:00

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