Social Security and Retirement Resources
Created by FindLaw's team
of attorney writers and editors.
Planning for your retirement will give you the best opportunity to live comfortably after you retire. It's a good idea to get started early and review many retirement resources. Because Social Security rules can be confusing it's important to educate yourself on how Social Security works and how your benefits will be calculated. As you learn more about retirement accounts, you'll better prepare yourself to choose the plan that is best for you.
The following resources include a Social Security benefits calculator, Social Security handbook, and information regarding various retirement accounts. For additional retirement information, see FindLaw's sections on Retirement Planning and Social Security Basics.
Social Security Resources
Social Security is a federal insurance program that provides benefits to retired people and those who are disabled, survivors of workers who've died, and other beneficiaries. As you work, you pay Social Security taxes, and those taxes are used to pay people who are eligible for benefits. Your amount of benefits is based on your average lifetime earnings. The resources below can help you better understand Social Security and your potential benefits.
- Understanding the Benefits: This publication from the Social Security Administration describes the program and benefits.
- The Social Security Handbook: A comprehensive handbook covering the Social Security System.
- Social Security Online: This site features publications on Social Security, disability, Medicare, and more.
- Social Security Benefits Estimator: An online calculator from the Social Security Administration.
- AARP Social Security Center: The center features facts, issues, and challenges related to Social Security.
- BenefitsCheckUp.org: The National Council on Aging identifies federal and state assistance programs for older Americans.
- USA.gov for Seniors: The site features health, retirement, and other resources.
- Social Security Advisory Board: This independent, bipartisan board advises the President, Congress, and the Commissioner of Social Security on matters related to the Social Security and Supplemental Security Income programs.
- Multilingual Social Security Resources: A multilingual gateway to Social Security Online.
Retirement Plans and Pensions Resources
There are many options in saving for retirement, including receiving an employer-sponsored pension, contributing to a 401(k) plan, and opening an IRA account. Each plan offers different tax benefits, including immediate tax deductions, tax-deferred growth, or matching contributions. The resources below can help you better understand retirement plans and accounts.
- Employee Benefits Security Administration: Part of the US Department of Labor, the site features publications, laws, regulations, and more.
- John Hancock Retirement: This site provides articles on the benefits of tax deferral, your employer's retirement plan, the benefits of a workplace retirement savings account, and IRA rollovers.
- Understanding Retirement Accounts: This site features descriptions of employer-sponsored plans with employee contributions and employer-funded plans, including 401(k), 403(b), 457(b), SIMPLE IRA, SEP, and defined benefit pension, and a discussion of tax implications and benefits.
- Types of Retirement Plans: This IRS site includes information on retirement plan tax implications and the rules of required minimum distributions.
- Understanding Plan Fees: This site provides explanations of the different types of plan fees and expense ratios.
- Retirement Planning Basics: This site includes an introduction to retirement planning, articles covering how much money you'll need in retirement, discussions of tax implications and compounding, and planning asset allocation and diversification.
Getting Legal Help
After you begin to study and review your retirement options, you may want expert legal and financial advice in developing a comprehensive plan. The requirements of Social Security and the tax benefits of retirement accounts can be complex and confusing. A qualified Social Security and retirement attorney can help you better understand your retirement options.