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Planning and saving are core elements to a successful retirement. For over 80 years, Social Security has helped Americans achieve that goal. And each year, the American Savings Education Council and America Saves coordinate America Saves Week.

The week is an opportunity for organizations to promote good savings behavior; it is also a great time for people to assess their own saving status.

Social Security is collaborating with America Saves Week to promote our shared mission of helping millions of people prepare for their future. This year, we’re celebrating the week from February 25 through March 2. Join the #ASW19 movement by using this hashtag when posting about your savings goals.

It’s never too early to start planning for your retirement. Set a goal, make a plan, and save automatically. Savers with a plan are twice as likely to save successfully. Pledge to save for America Saves Week at www.americasaves.org.

Social Security has many tools for retirement planning. You can access our online information and resources at www.socialsecurity.gov/planners/retire.

Younger people know that the earlier they start saving, the more their money can grow. Our website for young workers at www.socialsecurity.gov/people/earlycareer has resources that can help you secure today and tomorrow.

Questions and Answers

Q: I run a bed and breakfast. By this time every year, I am tired of all the paperwork involved with filing taxes. Is there an easier way for small businesses to file W-2s for their employees?

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A: Absolutely. If you are a small business owner or entrepreneur, you should check out Social Security’s Business Services Online (BSO) website. There, you can file your employees’ W-2s and W-2cs electronically and print out the W-2s to provide paper copies to your employees. You also can verify the Social Security numbers of your employees. Our online services are easy to use, fast, and secure. Visit our BSO page at www.socialsecurity.gov/bso.

Q: Is it illegal to laminate your Social Security card?

A: No, it is not illegal, but we discourage it. It’s best not to laminate your card. Laminated cards make it difficult — sometimes even impossible — to detect important security features and an employer may refuse to accept them. The Social Security Act requires the Commissioner of Social Security to issue cards that cannot be counterfeited. We incorporate many features that protect the card’s integrity. They include highly specialized paper and printing techniques, some of which are invisible to the naked eye. Keep your Social Security card in a safe place with your other important papers. Do not carry it with you. Learn more at www.socialsecurity.gov.

Q: I am nearing my full retirement age, but I plan to keep working after I apply for Social Security benefits. Will my benefits be reduced because of my income?

A: No. If you start receiving benefits after you’ve reached your full retirement age, you can work while you receive Social Security and your current benefit will not be reduced because of the earned income. If you keep working, it could mean a higher benefit for you in the future. Higher benefits can be important to you later in life and increase the future benefit amounts your survivors could receive. If you begin receiving benefits before your full retirement age, your earnings could reduce your monthly benefit amount. After you reach full retirement age, we recalculate your benefit amount to leave out the months when we reduced or withheld benefits due to your excess earnings. Learn more about Social Security reading our publication, How Work Affects Your Benefits, at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10069.html.

Q: I'm retired and the only income I have is a monthly withdrawal from an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). Are the IRA withdrawals considered "earnings?" Could they reduce my monthly Social Security benefits?

A: No. We count only the wages you earn from a job or your net profit if you're self-employed. Nonwork income such as pensions, annuities, investment income, interest, capital gains and other government benefits are not counted and will not affect your Social Security benefits. For more information, visit www.socialsecurity.gov or call us toll-free at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778).

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