LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Security for newlyweds

Tuesday, September 18, 2001

The newlyweds were leisurely driving through town when they saw our office and the bride remembered she needed to change her name on her Social Security card.

Once the name change was completed, she had a question about an apparent error on her earnings record reported on her Social Security Statement.

On-the-spot measures taken to correct the error led to a discussion of why it was important to make sure her record is accurate. We explained that the bride's future benefits would be based on the earnings posted to her record.

Like many young people, this young couple considered Social Security as just a retirement program that was too far away to think about now. We told them about the protection Social Security disability and survivors insurance provides them and the children they hope to have. ...

A quick look at the survivors benefit section of the Benefit Planners on Social Security's website, www.ssa.gov, was an "eye-opener" for the newlyweds. They were surprised to learn that a 25-year old

disabled worker with average earnings and a spouse and child could receive more than $1,700 per month in disability benefits.

Before leaving our office, they looked at the retirement planning tips in the Benefit Planners and decided it's never too early to start planning for retirement. Social Security is the base on which they'll build their financial future. The statements they receive each year will be a tool to help.

Orren E. Knoffloch

Social Security manager

Storm Lake