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New research gives important guidance on how to stretch your retirement dollars the furthest: In your 60s, lean on a “bridge” of withdrawals from your 401(k) and don’t start claiming Social Security until you turn 70.

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Unless you have a pre-existing condition that suggests a shorter-than-average life expectancy, waiting for that higher payout will more than pay off assuming you live into your mid-80s. (For the record, if you make it to 65, the odds are that you will indeed live at least that long.)

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The CRR researchers created a model using household survey data from 2016 that showed 65-year-old single men who had 401(k) savings had a median account value of $106,000 and were eligible for an annual Social Security benefit around $15,400. Women with 401(k) savings had a median account value of $110,000 and were eligible for an annual Social Security payout of around $14,500.

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If you register at the Social Security website you can get an estimate of your Social Security benefits if you were to claim at 62, at your full retirement age or at age 70. Then you can decide if you want to withdraw your FRA amount (or less) from your 401(k) so you wait to claim Social Security as long as possible.

Tax season is approaching, and replacing your annual benefit statement has never been easier. The benefit statement, also known as the SSA-1099 or the SSA-1042S, is a tax form we mail each year in January to people who receive Social Security benefits. It shows the total amount of benefits you received from us in the previous year so you know how much Social Security income to report to the Internal Revenue Service on your tax return.

"States are generally incentivized by the federal government to cut resources during times of low unemployment," said Kristin Richards, acting director of IDES during a Senate Labor Committee hearing Wednesday. "In times of low unemployment, agencies tend to not have the resources that they need to plan ahead and plan for large, widespread dislocations."

Do you plan to pay a cleaning person, cook, gardener, baby sitter or other household worker at least $2,300 in 2021? This amount includes any cash you pay for your household employee’s transportation, meals and housing. If you will pay at least $2,300 to one person, you have some additional financial responsibilities.

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The Illinois Department of Employment Security reported Thursday that 40,008 workers filed initial claims for regular unemployment benefits during the week that ended Jan. 30. That was a 58% drop from the previous week when 95,481 people filed claims. Still, that number was more than four times higher than the same week a year ago.

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Saving for retirement is a common investment goal, and certain accounts — like 401(k)s and IRAs — are set up specifically for that purpose. Often the holder will pay some sort of penalty if they withdraw funds too early or for a reason other than retirement.

We are required to conduct continuing eligibility reviews for disabled beneficiaries every three years. This process requires that beneficiaries complete a Continuing Disability Review mailer to update information about their medical conditions and recent treatments.

In March 2020, we temporarily closed all of our Social Security hearing offices due to the coronavirus pandemic and are not offering in-person hearings. During the office closures, we are providing two flexible, safe and secure hearing options: either a telephone hearing or our new option of an online video hearing.

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The Chicago Teachers Union is proposing that Chicago Public Schools delay in-person learning until all employees have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and for the union and school district to develop a mutually agreed-upon schedule for an extended school year.

Our online tools and services save you time and make your life easier. Often, there’s no need to contact us. Here are five of our webpages that can make your life easier:

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