social security income ; image: woman checking mail with smiling husband

A recent study revealed that paper statements help Americans better estimate their social security benefits.

A recent study collected over 14,000 responses from 5087 older Americans regarding their predictions for the amount they’d receive from social security against what they actually received in 2021. The data led researchers to two conclusions: the majority of Americans underestimate how much they end up getting, and those who regularly receive paper statements, or check their social security statements online, are much better at forecasting their actual income amount.

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According to the survey, 25% of those who participated estimated an amount that was off by at least $5100 per year. For individuals in their 50s and 60s, checking the social security statement at least once annually enhanced their estimates by an average of $344 for each year they remembered to review the benefits statement.

Bill to Bring Back Paper Statements

A bill introduced in the Senate earlier this year would bring back the practice of mailing Americans over the age of 25 a paper statement of estimated social security benefits at least once per year. From 1992 to 2018, this was standard for the Social Security Administration. For the past five years, paper statements have to be requested online, which is also how social security estimates can be viewed electronically. And while 64 million users are registered at, this does not mean all of these individuals are checking their statements periodically.

The proposed legislation, “A bill to ensure that Social Security beneficiaries receive regular statements from the Social Security Administration, and for other purposes,” would also alter the terminology surrounding which ages Americans are eligible for social security benefits. Age 62, currently entitled “early eligibility age” would be changed to “minimum retirement age.” The full retirement age would become “standard eligibility age” and age 70, now referred to as “delayed retirement credits” would be known as the “maximum retirement age.”


Until Next Time,

Benefits Ben, STWS

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**Written by Benjamin Derge, Financial Planner, ChFEBC℠ The information has been obtained from sources considered reliable but we do not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. Any opinions are those of Benjamin Derge and not necessarily those of RJFS or Raymond James. Links are being provided for information purposes only. Expressions of opinion are as of this date and are subject to change without notice. Raymond James is not affiliated with and does not endorse, authorize, or sponsor any of the listed websites or their respective sponsors.

social security income ; image: woman checking mail with smiling husband

Social Security Income