One day in 1939, Ida May Fuller stopped by the local Social Security office in her hometown of Rutland, Vermont to inquire about Social Security benefits. She knew she had been paying into Social Security and wanted to learn more. The following year, she received the very first Social Security benefit payment — $22.54 — arriving as check number 00-000-001. Ida’s story still holds lessons for women today — and it started with her getting the information she needed. Today, signing up for a personal my Social Security account at www.ssa.gov/myaccount can help you get information tailored for you to plan for your retirement. It’s never too late to start planning. Ida was 65 years old when she started receiving benefit payments, but she lived well beyond her life expectancy of 65 years, 4 months. In fact, Ida lived to be 100 years old, and received Social Security benefit payments for 35 years.
It’s important to create your personal my Social Security account as soon as possible. With your account, you can view estimates of future benefits, verify your earnings, and view the estimated
Social Security and Medicare taxes you’ve paid. Verifying earnings is important because your future benefit is based on your earnings history.
Your Social Security benefit payments will provide only a portion of your pre-retirement income. You may have to save more to have adequate income for your desired lifestyle in retirement.
Savings need to be an active part of your plan to take care of yourself and your family’s financial future. Ida never married. She supported herself. However, you may find yourself widowed or divorced — and having to provide for yourself for several more years. Unlike in Ida’s day, you can go online to see if you’re eligible at www.ssa.gov/retirement to receive a current, deceased, or former spouse’s benefits.
We encourage you to follow Ida’s example and plan for your financial future. Please share this information with your friends and family — and help us spread the word on social media.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we could not receive visitors at our field office except for previously arranged appointments on special limited critical situations. However, we continue providing our services by phone and internet. If you have questions on Social Security benefits and services, please access www.socialsecurity.gov. You could also access our automated services at 1-800-772-1213 or call your local Social Security office Monday to Friday from 9:00AM to 4:00PM. To locate the telephone number of your local field office, please input your residential zip code at www.ssa.gov/locator/ .