The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Columns

August 26, 2013

Charo Boyd: You're on first base with Social Security

Who’s on first base? You are, when the time comes to do business with Social Security. We always place customer service first and strive to hit a home run with every person we serve.

What’s on second? Our heavy-hitting team of top-rated online services, that’s what! For example, you can use my Social Security to set up an account and get access to your Social Security Statement to see estimates of your future benefits. If you know your bases are loaded and you are ready to retire, you can hit the ball out of the park with our online retirement application. You’ll find it all at www.socialsecurity.gov.

And third base? I don’t know. It’s hard to know when the right time to retire may be. Or, whether retirement planning will even be your first play with Social Security, given that we also pitch disability and survivors benefits. The future may be as unpredictable as a World Series winner on opening day. But what we do know is that our online tools and services can help you plan for whatever your Social Security needs may be throughout your lifetime.

The tried and true “Who’s On First” comedy routine made famous by Abbott and Costello is as American as baseball, apple pie and Social Security.

Baseball is an annual rite of summer and a game known for its numbers. Cal Ripken’s record 2,632 consecutive games played. Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak. These and countless other baseball statistics tell stories greater than the numbers themselves. Mention any one of these to a baseball fan and you’re sure to call to mind memories and stories.

Social Security’s numbers tell stories too. The first lump sum Social Security payment of 17 cents was made to Ernest Ackerman in 1937. The first monthly Social Security check of $22.54 went to Ida May Fuller in January 1940. This year, about 58 million Americans will receive $821 billion in Social Security benefits. The average monthly benefit for a retired worker in 2013 is $1,262.

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