Since your parents have done a lot for you over your lifetime, this is the perfect time of year to return the favor by helping them plan their retirement at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.
In May, we honored mothers on Mother's Day and, in June, we thanked our fathers on Father's Day. In July, we get to show our appreciation for both. Parents' Day, celebrated July 27, is a great time to make sure your parents take the necessary steps to have a bright and comfortable retirement.
Even if they're still young, it's never too early to help your parents start planning for their retirement or help them imagine what their someday might look like. When you ask them about their retirement plans, encourage each of them to open their own secure my Social Security accounts at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount. It's quick, easy and free to do. They can even do it from the comfort of home.
My Social Security features several tools available to guide your parents through the retirement process, whether they're just starting to think about it or if they're already retired. Before retiring, your parents can view their Social Security statement to verify the accuracy of their earnings records and find out what benefits they can expect to receive at age 62, full retirement age, and at age 70. They can also get personalized benefit estimates using the retirement estimator at www.socialsecurity.gov/estimator. The estimator shows different scenarios, like how future wage changes or alternate retirement dates will affect their future benefits.
Once your parents have retired and are receiving Social Security benefits, they can use their accounts to:
n Check benefit information;
n Get an instant letter with proof of their benefits;
n Change their address and phone number;
n Get a replacement SSA-1099;
n Get a replacement Medicare card; and
n Start or change their direct deposit or electronic payment method.
Retirement is a big life change, so let your parents know you'll be there for them just as they've been there for you. When you help them sign up for my Social Security at www.socialsecurity/myaccount, you're showing that their retirement means something to you.
If you have questions, our number is 1-800-772-1213. The Tyler Social Security office is at 5509 S. Donnybrook.
Leo Rossler is a Social Security district manager based in Tyler.