How to Go Green With a 'my Social Security' Account

Retirement Savings - Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

Keeping track of your Social Security information is important for your retirement planning and by signing up for a my Social Security account you will have instant, secure access to that information any time you want. It’s a great way to help save money and trees too since you’ll no longer be receiving statements by mail. With this online account you’ll be able to access your social security statement, verify the accuracy of your earnings, and get estimates of your future benefits. It's the only place you can get these personalized estimates based on your earnings. Social security uses your highest 35 years of earnings to calculate your benefits. It's important to check every year to make sure that their records on your earnings are accurate. Once you start receiving Social Security benefits, you’ll be able to manage your personal account and get instant proof of your benefits. You'll also be able to change your address and phone number and start or change your direct deposit information conveniently online.

What You Need

To create an account you must have the following:

  • Email address
  • Social Security Number
  • U.S. mailing address

Getting Set Up

When you’re ready to sign up, go to the Social Security website and select the “Sign In/Up” link in the top right corner. Next, click on Create an Account and, after you agree to the terms, fill in your information. At the bottom of the form you can choose to add an extra level of security to your account by selecting “Yes, Let’s Start Now”. You will then be prompted to select an additional security question to answer. With this feature activated you will receive a temporary code via text message every time you try to login. You will use this code and your account password to access your account (cell phone provider message rates may apply). At the bottom of the page, select “Next” and you will be taken to a set of personal questions that you need to answer. These are meant to further secure your identity. After you're done, select “Next” again at the bottom of that page and you will go to the next page where you will be asked to create a username, password, and email address. You will also be required to set password reset questions in case you ever forget your username or password.

Tips for Creating Username and Password

Here’s some important information to know about creating your username and password:

  • Choose a username that consists of 8-20 letters and/or numbers.
  • The username cannot be your name or social security number.
  • For the password, you need at least 8 characters including 1 upper case letter, 1 lower case letter, 1 number, 1 symbol.

At this point you’re almost done. Select “Next” one more time to finish. You should see a message that lets you know that you’re all set and ready to go. Sign in and view your account whenever you like.