Whether you’re 55 or 25, do this to secure your future Social Security benefits

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Americans may not qualify for Social Security benefits until they are at least 62 years old, have a long-term disability, or experience a death in the family, but they still need to verify their Social Security profile regardless of their age. Retirement Tip of the Week: Create an account with the Social Security Administration to verify your identity, verify your history, and understand what you are entitled to receive in the future.

The Social Security Administration allows individuals to create an account with the agency through its “my Social Security” portal, also known as mySSA. Retirees can use the website to request a replacement card or change their registered address, but others who are not yet receiving benefits can view estimates for their future checks, analyze what they will receive compared to their spouses, and check the status of the request. Listen to Barron’s Live’s latest podcast, MarketWatch edition, on Social Security. Those checkups can be crucial for all Americans, for a number of reasons. First, a mySSA profile can protect people against attacks. “If you set up your Social Security account on my account, someone else cannot set it up for you,” said Diane Wilson, financial advisor and founder of My Social Security Analyst. This is especially important for people who may have been the victims of fraud or infringement. Another benefit: You can confirm your salary history and make sure the information the government has is accurate. This is essential to receive the appropriate benefit later. Social Security benefits are based on many factors, including lifetime income and average monthly income for the last 35 years with the highest salary. Creating an account is simple. Individuals must be at least 18 years old, have a valid U.S. social security number and address, as well as an email address. After going to www.ssa.gov/myaccount and creating an account, SSA will verify the person’s identification, send a security code, and determine the best communication measure, such as email or text message.