916-886-5699

2100 Douglas Blvd, Roseville, CA

Estate Planning, Charitable Giving
And The Northern California Conference

The Planned Giving Department provides information to individuals that will assist them in using gift planning documents such as Wills, Trusts, Gift Annuities, Power of Attorney and Health Care Directives; that will provide for and protect family members and support God's work in Northern California and beyond.

Our department has received the highest possible accreditation by the North American Division of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists and certification for all of our planned giving professional staff. We are committed to assisting you with helpful information regarding the best way for you to benefit through a planned gift and to assist you with planning for the distribution of your estate. Please give us a call at 916-886-5699 and we will be happy to assist you.

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Saturday July 31, 2021

Savvy Living

Savvy Senior

Why You Should Create a "My Social Security Account"

I am 58 years old and working on a plan for my retirement. I have read that I need to check my Social Security statement every year to validate its accuracy. How do I go about doing this?

Checking your official Social Security statement every year is a smart move to make sure your posted earnings are correct and ensure you get the benefits you are entitled to. Many Americans do not take this precaution. In fact, most U.S. workers have never created a digital "my Social Security account" to access their statement information. Here is what you should know.

Online Statements


In 2017, as a cost cutting measure, the Social Security Administration stopped mailing paper Social Security statements to everyone under age 60.

The only people who still get statements in the mail are those over age 60 who are not yet getting benefits and who have not set up an online account. Paper statements, however, are still available upon request to anyone who submits Form SSA-7004.

If you have not done so, you should create a "my Social Security account." This account will give you instant access to your personal Social Security statements. You can check your earning record and get estimates of your future retirement benefits at full retirement age, as well as at age 62 and age 70. Your statements will also let you know how much you would qualify for if you become disabled and how much your family members could receive in survivors benefits when you die.

How to Create an Account


To create a "my Social Security account," go to SSA.gov/myaccount. You will be asked to enter your Social Security number and birth date. You will also be prompted to answer a series of multiple-choice questions that might include inquiries about financial products you own and previous addresses to confirm your identity. Then you will receive a code either by email or text, which you will enter online to complete the process.

If you have a problem creating an online account, call 800-772-1213. After you establish an account, you will get an annual email reminder to log on and review your statement.

If you have a security freeze on your credit report to help ward off fraud, you must lift it temporarily to set up your online Social Security account. Specifically, you will need to thaw the freeze at Equifax, the company the Social Security Administration currently uses to help verify users' identities.

Creating an online account is also a good idea to prevent someone else from fraudulently creating one first and using it to steal benefit payments in the future. Given the number of security breaches in recent years, it is possible someone may be able to illegally obtain your sensitive personal information, like your Social Security number, and use it to set up an account in your name.

Once you get access to your statement, compare the earnings listed on your statement with your own tax records or W-2 statements. You must correct errors within 3 years, 3 months and 15 days following the year of the mistake. If you happen to spot a discrepancy within that timeframe, call 800-772-1213 to report the error. Some corrections can be made over the phone. You may need to schedule an appointment and visit your local branch with copies of your W-2 forms or tax returns to prove the mistake, or you can mail it in.

Savvy Living is written by Jim Miller, a regular contributor to the NBC Today Show and author of "The Savvy Living" book. Any links in this article are offered as a service and there is no endorsement of any product. These articles are offered as a helpful and informative service to our friends and may not always reflect this organization's official position on some topics. Jim invites you to send your senior questions to: Savvy Living, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070.

Published July 23, 2021
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Power of Attorney

If you want to be sure that a person you trust will be able to make decisions for you when you are unable to do so, you can create a power of attorney agreement for healthcare or finances. A power of attorney for healthcare allows a person (known as your agent) to make decisions about the medical care you will or will not receive. A power of attorney for finances allows your agent to manage your financial affairs. Your agent must make decisions consistent with what they know your wishes are, even if they personally disagree. If they do not know your wishes on a particular matter, they must act in your best interest. You can give your agent broad authority to make decisions related to your financial or health care needs, or you can limit their authority to certain types of decisions. Depending on your needs, we can help you create a power of attorney agreement that will be active immediately, will go into effect if you become incapacitated, or will only be in effect for a limited time or under specific circumstances.

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