Planning is the key to creating your best retirement.

You’ll need to plan and save for years to achieve your retirement goals. While many factors affect retirement planning, we want you to understand what Social Security can mean to you and your family’s financial future.

Social Security Should Be Just One Part of Your Retirement Plan

On average, retirement beneficiaries receive 40% of their pre-retirement income from Social Security. As you make your retirement plan, knowing the approximate amount you will receive in Social Security benefits can help you determine how much other retirement income you’ll need to reach your goals.

Are You Eligible?

When you work and pay Social Security taxes, you earn “credits” toward Social Security benefits. The number of credits you need to get retirement benefits depends on when you were born. If you were born in 1929 or later, you need 40 credits (usually, this is 10 years of work).

If you stop working before you have enough credits to qualify for benefits, the credits will remain on your Social Security record. If you return to work later, more credits may be added. We can’t pay any retirement benefits until you have 40 credits. Visit our retirement benefits webpage for more information on how Social Security Credits work.

Verify Your Earnings History

The amount of the Social Security benefits you or your family receives depends on the amount of earnings shown on your record. Regularly checking your Social Security earnings history can help ensure there are no surprises when it’s time for you to start receiving benefits. You can find your earnings history with a personal my Social Security account. Create your account now to check your earnings history online.

Estimate Your Benefits

Knowing what you will get every month in retirement benefits will help you plan for your retirement. If you have a my Social Security account, you can get an estimate of your personalized retirement benefits and see the effects of different retirement age scenarios. If you don’t have a personal my Social Security account, create one at or you can use our online Retirement Estimator at