Friday, November 6, 2009

Thirteen Years in the Workforce?

I got my Social Security annual statement and it's the first year that I've been pretty excited about the results. It's funny looking back at my teenage earnings, summer and after school jobs, when compared to my three years of post-law school salaries.

What is not included in this statement are all the "under the table" jobs I've had over the course of my life, mostly babysitting jobs, and (I think) my work study as both an undergrad and law student. My first job was when I was 12 years old. I pushed a boy in a baby carriage for one hour a day over the summer, while his mother, a friend of my mother's, took a tennis class. That boy is now in college. Yikes I'm getting old!

I also got a sizable grant from my law school to do work for the school, which doesn't seem to be included in this statement either. Most of this grant went towards my tuition but the remainder I used to pay living expenses.

Anyway, here it is, a snapshot of 13 years of what the Social Security Administration considers my lifetime income:

1995: $942
1996: $904
1997: $1,974
1998: $3,250
1999: $3,350
2000: $6,210
2001: $7,112
2002: $0
2003: $13,707
2004: $0
2005: $5,000
2006: $8,084
2007: $38,680
2008: $42,634

Wow, finally my earnings don't seem so pathetic. I look forward to the day when my latest earnings seem as meager to me as my earlier earnings do now.

And, just for historical purposes, the statement includes my "estimated benefits" if I were to continue working until my full retirement age of 67 with my current earnings, I would earn a monthly benefit of $1,568 a month. If I continue working to age 70, my benefits would increase to $1,944 a month, whereas retiring at 62 I would only earn $1,102 a month.

I have been working long enough to be eligible for disability benefits of $976 a month.

The SSA also threw in a nifty little insert for young workers to learn about saving. That was nice of them, if not a little intimidating. If you're a young worker in the U.S. I bet you'll see yours soon, if not you can read it here.


Anonymous said...

When I got that document, it was weird to see that the year I graduated from high school, I apparently earned something like $62. Very odd.

Morning Noon Evening said...

I got my statement a few weeks ago and also marveled at how I earned so little in my early 20s!! When I was 22, I made $18K and struggled so much! It's definitely nice to see the income go up and a pretty cool look back at personal finance history!