News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Business

September 1, 2013

SOCIAL SECURITY: See you in September? Try online

TERRE HAUTE — Summertime is almost over, and it’s time to face the fall. Hopefully, your family has enjoyed a nice vacation and you’ve had your share of fun in the sun. You may even reminisce about the popular song, “See You in September,” which was written by Sid Wayne and Sherman Edwards and made memorable by The Happenings in 1966.

As children, teenagers, and young adults return to school, now is a good time for you to take a look at the books, too — whether that means starting your retirement planning, making sure your retirement plans are on track, or taking the plunge and applying for Social Security retirement benefits.

But just because you have Social Security business and retirement matters to tend to does not mean you need to fight the traffic and trudge into a busy government office.

 We don’t need to see you (in person) in September. That’s because whether you’re working on your retirement planning or ready to retire, you can do most everything from the comfort of your home or office computer at www.socialsecurity.gov.

If you’ve been to our website before, you’ll notice that the new homepage is even better.

We’ve revised the homepage and made it clearer and easier to use. You’ll now find what you want, without the need to read through a lot of links.

If you’re starting to think about a retirement that is in the far-off future, a good place to begin is with Social Security’s Benefits Planners at www.socialsecurity.

gov/planners.

 You can use the planners to help you understand your Social Security protection as you plan your financial future. In fact, you can learn about survivors and disability benefits as well as retirement benefits. No matter how new you may be to the working world, it’s never too early to begin planning for a sound financial future.

For those of you with more years of work under your belt, get a more precise look at what your benefits will be with Social Security’s Retirement Estimator at www.socialsecurity.gov/estimator. The Estimator makes use of your reported wages from past years and projects your current earnings into the future to give you an instant, personalized estimate of your future benefits. You can change the variables, such as date of retirement and future earnings estimates, to see what you can expect in different scenarios.

If you’re ready to say goodbye to the daily grind of working and you’re ready to apply for Social Security retirement benefits, it’s exciting to know that you can apply from the comfort of your home or office in as little as 15 minutes.

 Once you complete the online application for benefits, in most cases, that’s all there is to it. No papers to sign or documents to provide. Give it a try when you’re ready to retire at www.socialsecurity.gov/applyonline.

You have better things to do in September than to come see us. Whether you’re just beginning your retirement plans, making sure your long-term plans are on track, or you’re ready to retire, we don’t need to see you in September. Take advantage of our new, easy-to-use website at www.socialsecurity.gov.

Brian L. Hewitt is district manager of the Social Security Administration at 222 Cherry St. in Terre Haute.

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