Planning for Retirement with SSA

Used to be, the promise of social security benefits gave people reassurance, contributing to a major part of their retirement funds. Not really so any longer, with most monthly benefit payouts barely registering at the poverty level. That paltry amount won’t give you the life you want as you live out your golden years, that’s for sure. It’s more of a way to complement and augment your existing retirement fund savings as part of something you paid into for many years with your employer.

Life Expectancy

A lot of this has to do with the fact that quite frankly, Americans are living longer, healthier lives than ever before. Today, the average life expectancy is about 80 years old. Just 50 years ago it was about 65 and 100 years ago it was just 47 years old. Social security decades ago was meant to pad a person’s last few years before they died. Now, people are living up to 30 years beyond retirement age. That’s a long time to rely on the system to care for you.

In addition to that, people are spending much more than their parents and grandparents did. They’re more educated about healthy living, eating better, exercising more, and having opportunities other generations simply did not.

Hopefully, you’re already well invested in a nest egg you can tap into come age 65 or whenever you decide to retire. A healthy mix of stocks, bonds and mutual funds, as well as liquid savings, 401(k), pension plan and investment in a home, for example, can all contribute to a solid retirement plan. Consider social security as one component of that strategy: not the whole ball of wax.

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To find out how much you may get come retirement, it’s necessary to first sign up for a My Social Security account. This way, you can verify your earnings, view your statements and get retirement tips all in one place from the comfort of your home. The SSA also provides you with several helpful calculators that help you determine anything from estimates of monthly benefits to life expectancy.


Unfortunately, as is the case with other investment platforms, SSA is susceptible to fraud. Working in conjunction with the Office of the Inspector General (OIG), SSA investigates all allegations of fraud and will prosecute to the fullest extent of the law. They use a variety of tools to fight SSA fraud, such as Cooperative Disability Investigations (CDI), Access to Financial Institutions (AFI), data analytics, fraud prevention units, National Anti-Fraud Committee and quality assurance reviews.

Speaking of fraud, it’s too easy to get involved with fraudulent transactions with your stock broker – yet another level of fraud. You need a stockbroker fraud attorney on your side in case you become a victim. Be on the lookout for suspicious behavior and do all your research before delving into a new investment.Same goes for SSA. Advise the seniors in your life to watch out for scam artists on the phone or email looking to get their SSA information. Remember, seniors are our most vulnerable segment of the population when it comes to this type of fraud!