Some Social Security Housekeeping Items

Social Security has changed the way it issues annual benefit statements. If you want a complete Social Security benefit statement you will have to set up an account online to get the information. The Social Security Administration is no longer mailing those statements in an effort to cut costs. You must be 18 years or older to set up an account. It only takes a few minutes to set one up, simply go to www.socialsecurity.gov/mystatement and follow the steps. You will need your Social Security number, a mailing address, and a valid e-mail address. To prevent identity theft there are several questions you will be asked that are considered “out of the wallet” questions. In other words, even if someone stole your wallet they shouldn’t be able to answer these types of questions (i.e. past employment questions or residence questions).

We recommend checking your statement at least once a year if you are not currently receiving your Social Security benefit. It not only helps you plan for your retirement income needs, but if there is a discrepancy in what is shown you paid in versus what you think you paid in, it is better to catch the error as soon as possible.

Remember if you are within three months of your 65th birthday you should contact the Social Security Administration about receiving Medicare. Finally, if you are receiving your Social Security check by mail, you must switch to direct deposit by March. You can do this either online or by calling 800-772-1213.

Economic Outlook–Conerly Charts

View the latest charts and comments on the U.S., Oregon, and Washington economies from Dr. Conerly of Conerly Consulting.

We are pleased to re-post Dr. Conerly’s January charts for our clients. Please see his site for more data and comments: www.conerlyconsulting.com. Click the images below for larger versions.