Dust off your financial plan with help of Social Security: Online tools at your fingertips to assist you

Editor's Note: This write-up by Michael W. Gerowchowski is being published exclusively in the Sunshine State via HeadlineSurfer.com as a public service for online readers.

Social Security Regional Commissioner (Atlanta) Michael Grochowski, guest blog / Headline Surfer®By Michael W. Grochowski
Social Security Regional Commissioner in Atlanta
Special Guest blog for Headline Surfer®
 

ATLANTA -- Spring is officially here. Before you get started with your spring cleaning, perhaps another matter deserves some dusting off—that long-term financial plan. April is National Financial Literacy Month—the perfect time to spring into action when it comes to planning your financial future.

If you already have a plan, this is a great opportunity to take another look at it and make sure you’re still “on track” to reach your financial goals.

According to a 2013 survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, the past few years have seen a sharp decline in Americans’ confidence about their retirement savings. Only 13 percent of workers feel very confident about having enough for a comfortable retirement and 28 percent are not at all confident. More than half of workers have less than $25,000 in total savings and investments. Twenty-eight percent of workers have saved less than $1,000.

According to a 2013 survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, the past few years have seen a sharp decline in Americans’ confidence about their retirement savings. Only 13 percent of workers feel very confident about having enough for a comfortable retirement and 28 percent are not at all confident. More than half of workers have less than $25,000 in total savings and investments. Twenty-eight percent of workers have saved less than $1,000.

If you haven’t begun saving for retirement, now is a good time to start—no matter what your age. If retirement is near, you’ll want to jump into the fast lane right away. If you’re younger and retirement seems a lifetime away, it’s still in your best interest to begin saving now.

Here’s how much the magic of compound interest will work to your advantage. For example, a 25-year old who begins saving $100 a month and earns a modest 5 percent interest will have more than $150,000 at age 65. Save $200 a month and you’re looking at more than $300,000.

Here’s how much the magic of compound interest will work to your advantage. For example, a 25-year old who begins saving $100 a month and earns a modest 5 percent interest will have more than $150,000 at age 65. Save $200 a month and you’re looking at more than $300,000.

Experts agree that saving when you’re young will make a world of difference when the time comes to draw on your retirement savings.

Don’t just take our word for it. You can check out the numbers yourself. A great way to start figuring out how much you will need for retirement is to use Social Security’s online Retirement Estimator, which offers an instant and personalized estimate of your future Social Security retirement benefits based on your earnings record.

Try it today at www.socialsecurity.gov/estimator.

We encourage saving for retirement, but there are reasons to save for every stage of life. A great place to go for help is www.mymoney.gov (the official U.S. government's website dedicated to teaching Americans the basics of finances.)

Whether you are looking for information about buying a home, balancing your checkbook, or investing in your 401(k) plan, the resources on www.mymoney.gov can help you. The Ballpark Estimator at www.choosetosave.org/ballpark is another excellent online tool. It makes complicated issues, like projected Social Security benefits and earnings assumptions on savings, easy to understand.

If you have to choose between scrubbing down the house or scrubbing your budget to get your financial house in order, we recommend putting off the cleaning one more day. Get started on planning your future right now at www.socialsecurity.gov.

Headline Surfer® is the award-winning 24/7 internet newspaper serving the Daytona Beach/Orlando metropolitan area via HeadlineSurfer.com, It was launched April 7, 2008, as Florida's first fully online newspaper by veteran newspaper reporter Henry Frederick, who has weorked in metro newspapers in Florida, New York, Massachusetts and Comnnecticut. Frederick has received numerous journalism industry awards for breaking news,  investigative reporting, feature and commentary writing. All editotrial content, including stories, blogs, photos and videos published via HeadlineSurfer.com are indexed around the clock in the Google News Directories by city and state and accessed globally in more than 14,000 communities.

 

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Short Bio

Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com since 2008. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most prolific daily news reporters, having amassed close to a hundred award-winning byline stories narly eveenly split in print and digital platforms. Frederick earned his Master of Arts in New Media Journalism with academic honors from Full Sail University in Winter Park in February 2019. He was a metro reporter with the Daytona Beach News-Journal for nearly a decade and then served as a city editor for the Taunton Daily Gazette in Taunton, Mass, while maintaining a residence in Central Florida. Prior to moving to Florida, Frederick was a metro reporter for the Rockland Journal-News in Wst Nyack, NY, for seven years. Headline Surfer was named the Sunshine State's top internet news site by the Florida Press Club in 2018.