Social security: a study reveals that creating a MySSA account before retirement is the key to success
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For Americans approaching retirement age, one of the best decisions you can make is to open a MySocialSecurity account online to help you track and estimate benefits. The problem is that few people seem to know, according to a report from the University of Michigan Center for Retirement and Disability Research.
See: The MySocialSecurity online portal helps you manage your social security benefits
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The report, co-authored by Lila Rabinovich and Francisco Perez-Arce of the University of Southern California, called MySocialSecurity, or MySSA, “a key online resource” offered by the Social Security Administration, but said the number of people with MySSA accounts “stay mooing.”
As GOBankingRates previously reported, a MySSA account gives you access to many features designed to make retirement easier. These include a calculator that allows you to estimate the benefits you will receive in different scenarios as well as tools to check the accuracy of your earnings history. You can also apply for benefits online.
From a security perspective, a MySSA account allows you to check activity associated with your Social Security number, which means you can find out if someone is applying for benefits on your behalf or trying to change your address or the bank account in which your benefits are deposited.
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This is a vital resource for those who are retired or approaching retirement age. But they are not the only ones who can benefit from it.
“For young people in particular, MySSA could be a potentially useful financial and retirement preparedness tool, informing individuals early and clearly about important information and actions for financial planning (especially retirement), and providing a salient shock to correct expectations for future retirement benefit amounts,” the Rabinovich/Perez-Arce report states.
Their analysis suggests that workers generally discover MySSA when they are ready to become beneficiaries, which means that most users tend to be older.
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According to the report, there are four main reasons why more people are not creating a MySSA account:
(1) Ignorance of MySSA
(2) No perceived relevance/need
(3) Security and privacy issues
(4) Low internet/computer literacy
It’s a shame, because those who use MySSA tend to have positive experiences, according to user interviews.
“When respondents created or logged into an account, they found the MySSA platform to be clear, navigable, and relevant,” the authors wrote. “Non-retired and non-beneficiary participants found the information on the platform particularly informative and useful.”
You can create a MySSA account online at the SSA.gov website. You will need your social security number, a US mailing address, and an email address to use the system.
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