Enjoying a comfortable retirement is everyone’s dream. For over 80 years, Social Security has been helping people realize those dreams, assisting people through life’s journey with a variety of benefits. It’s up to you as to when you can start retirement benefits. You could start them a little earlier or wait until your “full retirement age.” There are benefits to either decision, pun intended.
Social Security has been a cornerstone of financial security for over 80 years. As you might already know, a lifetime of measured discipline can ensure a comfortable retirement. Social Security can help you plan, save, and see plenty of green in your golden years. Social Security is part of the retirement plan of almost every American worker. If you’re among the 96 percent of workers in the United States covered under Social Security, it is helpful to know what benefits you are entitled to. Social Security bases your benefit payment on how much you earned during your working career. Higher lifetime earnings result in higher benefits. If there were some years you didn’t work or had low earnings, your benefit amount may be lower than if you worked steadily.
March is Women’s History Month — a time to focus not just on the past, but on the challenges women continue to face. Nearly 60 percent of the people receiving Social Security benefits are women, and in the 21st century, more women work, pay Social Security taxes, and earn credit toward monthly retirement income than at any other time in our nation’s history. Knowing this, you can be the author of your own rich and independent history, with a little preparation.
At first, seeing taxes taken out of your paycheck can be a little disappointing. However, you can take pride in knowing you’re making an important impact each week when you contribute to Social Security. Understanding how important your contribution is takes some of the sting away because your taxes are helping millions of Americans — and protecting you and your family for life — as well as wounded warriors, the chronically ill, and disabled.
Social Security celebrated its 81st anniversary in August. It’s no surprise we are experts in retirement planning and preparation. And we are also experts on your personal work history. We have been there from the very beginning — when you were born and when you got your first job. We track your work history so you get the benefits you are entitled to, be it disability benefits if you need them or retirement benefits when you reach retirement age.
The transition to adulthood is one of the most important parts of life’s journey. For foster children living with a disability, it can be even more challenging. Social Security is conducting a pilot study that will let these young people apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits sooner. Since 2010, our policy has been to allow foster children to apply for this program up to 90 days before their foster care eligibility ends.
On July 30, 2016, Social Security began requiring new and current my Social Security account holders to sign into their account using a one-time code sent via text message. This second layer of security that requires more than a username and a password is known as “multifactor authentication.” We recently mandated this second layer of security to comply with the President’s Executive Order on Improving the Security of Consumer Financial Transactions. We implemented it aggressively because we have a fundamental responsibility to protect the public’s personal information.
The effects of cancer on our society are devastating for those directly and indirectly dealing with the disease. Sadly, thousands of people under the age of 20 are diagnosed with cancer every year, and it remains the leading cause of disease-related death for children. We honor the courage of children who are battling the many forms of cancer, as well as the young people who lost their lives to these terrible diseases.
Social Security joins you and your family in celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from September 15 to October 15. We know the contributions of Hispanics can be traced to before the origins of the United States with the discovery, exploration, and naming of many places in our nation, such as state names like California, Colorado, and Texas and city names like San Antonio, Santa Barbara, and Boca Raton. Hispanics have influenced every facet of life, from language to our cultural development. Hispanics play a crucial role in American life.
Richard Swift grew up in the era of John Wayne and Gene Autry, cinematic cowboys whose armed antics drove his daydreams. He had a BB gun years before the first whiskers sprouted on his chin. At 12, he got a .22-caliber rifle that he’d lug around the hills and fields of his rural southeastern Pennsylvania burg, shooting targets and learning to hunt.
When a person becomes disabled, it can be a very stressful time in their life. There are many questions and unknowns when you have to transition out of the workforce due to medical issues. While an employer may offer short or long-term disability, most people faced with a disability will file for benefits with Social Security.
When most people begin their career, retirement is the farthest thing from their mind. Instead, they focus on trying to purchase a home, start a family, or perhaps save money for travel. Retirement seems so far away for many younger people that they delay putting aside money. However, it’s very important to save for the future — if you want to enjoy it.
SAN FRANCISCO — Janet Prochazka was active and outspoken, living by herself and working as a special education tutor. Then, in March, a bad fall landed her in the hospital. Doctors cared for her wounds and treated her pneumonia. But Prochazka, 75, didn’t sleep or eat well at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center. She became confused and agitated and ultimately contracted a serious stomach infection.
“Let me leave you with one thing,” says Herb Wendroff, who claims to be 116 years old. He pauses to let the gravity gather. “Time is candy and we ate all we bought.” It’s a lyric from an early ‘70s country song, and the last words from one of the last men out the door of a senior center where time ran out. It was the final day that the St. Francis Living Room, a place for homeless and low-income elders in the Tenderloin, could afford to stay open. In the neighbourhood for nearly three decades and at its current spot on Golden Gate Avenue since 2000, it serves some 15,000 meals a year to people over the age of 60.