published Thursday, July 18th, 2013

Social Security: Celebrate the retirement estimator's 5th annniversary

By Gregory Holmes
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    Gregory Holmes, district manager for Social Security

It's been five years since Social Security's Retirement Estimator debuted. Within months of first becoming available, the online Estimator was praised as one of the best services on the Internet, and it has consistently retained its excellent rating every year.

Results from the American Customer Satisfaction Index show Social Security's online Retirement Estimator is consistently one of the highest-rated services on the Web -- even higher than the websites of many other public or private sector agencies and companies, including Netflix and Amazon.

Every year millions of people use the Retirement Estimator. You can too at www.socialsecurity.gov/estimator. Prefer to do your business in Spanish? You can find it at www.segurosocial.gov/calculador, too.

The Retirement Estimator is a convenient, secure, and quick financial planning tool that lets workers calculate how much they might expect to receive in Social Security benefits when they retire. The attractive feature of this calculator is that it uses your earnings information on file at Social Security without displaying your personal information.

So you get an instant, personalized estimate of your future retirement benefits. And, it's so easy to use.

The Estimator even gives you the opportunity to run different scenarios and "what if" situations. For example, you can change the date you expect to retire or change expected future earnings to create and compare different retirement options. This can help you as you plan ahead.

To use the Retirement Estimator, you must have enough Social Security credits to qualify for benefits and you cannot currently be receiving benefits.

Experience the popular online service now by visiting Social Security's Retirement Estimator at www.socialsecurity.gov/estimator.

Then, once you've sketched out your retirement plans, you'll know where to go when the time comes to apply for benefits: online at www.socialsecurity.gov.

Gregory Holmes is Social Security director in Chattanooga.

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