An Easy Resolution to Keep
There are 3 weeks left in the year – this time when everyone makes their “New” New Years Resolutions like going back to the gym, saving more or eating right not many of us think about getting a clearer picture on Social Security – remember we like clarity we do not do vague. This is an easy resolution to keep and the end of the year is a great time to make a few moves that will pay off later.
1. Fight for a raise: We all want to earn more money, and with year-end performance reviews right around the corner, it's the perfect time to formulate your raise negotiation strategy. What does getting a raise have to do with Social Security? It's simple. Your benefits are calculated based on the amount you earned during your 35 highest working years. If you don't get a raise this year, and it's included in your top 35 working years, you'll end up with a lower Social Security payout eventually.
Remember- what you earn now impacts your future earnings. For example, if you apply for a new job and you disclose that you’re currently making $52,000 on the application the new employer’s offer will be based on the $52,000. You might, in that case, get offered a salary of $54,000, or $55,000. But if you're earning $52,000 and snag a 5% performance-based raise that brings that number up to $54,600, you'll have a higher starting point to work with for your next job. And that, in turn, will impact your Social Security benefits positively.
2. Check your earnings statement for accuracy: Social Security now sends your income history/benefit statements every 5 years instead of annually. I insist that you go to https://www.ssa.gov/myaccount and set up an account. This way you can see what you’re earning history is and how waiting a couple of years before you start using your benefits can significantly increase your benefit payouts. Also, if you notice something incorrect in your account it’ll be easier to correct now than it will be at retirement time.
3. Read up on how the Social Security program works: Most people are vague about how Social Security works, get to know it not just for your sake but for the sake of your parents. If your parents are a few years out from retirement and they make a mistake then you might say - we need to get educated about Social Security, to help them and protect ourselves from the financial impact caused by our elders not having their house order.
As part of your resolution to start 2018 off on the right financial foot, read up on Social Security. Be your badass warrior self and know- it’s too important not to. Yes, it's tedious and unexciting but put on your big girl pants and be Taraji P. Henson once again and learn this.
Happy F&$%IN’ New Year!