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Rob Schultz, CFP®, PFP

Creating a Social Security online account

Not everyone may know, but the Social Security Administration (SSA) ceased mailing annual benefits estimate statements in April 2011.  By suspending mailing for all workers over age 25, SSA has saved approximately $70 million each year in printing and mailing costs.  Although SSA eventually plans to resume the mailing of statements to people age 60 and over, as it currently stands, everyone age 18 and over must set up a personalized online account to access the following information.

  • Estimates of your retirement, disability, and survivors benefits;
  • Your earnings record; and
  • The estimated Social Security and Medicare taxes you've paid.

If you receive benefits or have Medicare, you can:

  • Estimates of your retirement, disability, and survivors benefits;
  • Check your benefit and payment information and your earning record;
  • Change your address and phone number; and
  • Start or change direct deposit of your benefit payment.

To set up your online account, log on to the website  Select the "Sign In or Create and Account" box near the bottom of the screen.  You will be asked questions related to former employers and your previous residences that are only known by you.  Once you have created your account, your information will be protected by a unique user name and password.  Be sure to keep this information for future use.  Should you forget your user name and password, after three failed attempts you will be locked out of your account for a 24 hour period.

The SSA is very careful to protect your identity.  The account set up process is relatively simple; however, if you have any anomalies you may need to visit a local Social Security office in order to create your personal online account.  Such issues that will preclude you from using the online account setup process are:

  • Blocked electronic access to your personal information with SSA
  • Recently moved or changed your name;
  • Placed a freeze on your credit report;
  • Have been the victim of domestic violence or identity theft; or are uncomfortable with or unable to use the online process for some other reason.

The online access will be beneficial during your career and retirement.  It gives you the ability to retrieve, save and print your statements to bring to your financial review meetings or whenever you need proof of income such as when applying for a loan.

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Securities and investment advisory services offered through Royal Alliance Associates, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC and a registered investment advisor. Additional investment advisory services offered through NWF Advisory Services Inc., a registered investment advisor not affiliated with Royal Alliance Associates, Inc. Certain insurance products offered through New World Financial & Insurance Services, Inc., an entity not affiliated with Royal Alliance Associates, Inc. or registered as a broker/dealer or investment advisor.

This communication is strictly intended for individuals residing in the state(s) of AL, AZ, CA, CO, IL, ME, MA, NV, NM, NY, OR, PA, PR, TX, WA and WY. No offers may be made or accepted from any resident outside the specific states referenced.

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