Review Your Asset Allocation
The pandemic and resulting financial crisis caused some wild swings in the stock market at first, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up hundreds of points one day and down hundreds of points the next. Still, if you have cash to spare and can live with volatility, stocks may still present the best opportunity for long-term growth, especially as the Dow is more than 6,000 points higher in August 2021 than it was when the pandemic began and has been climbing pretty steadily since November 2020.
If youre simply trying to safeguard what you have, you should at least make sure your money is allocated the way you want among stocks, bonds, and cash. If you are coming up on retirement fairly soon, you might consider shifting into a somewhat more conservative portfolio and consider Investopedias advice on how to achieve optimal asset allocation .
Social Security Benefits During The Pandemic
Payments to the 69 million-plus Social Security beneficiaries wont be affected by the field-office shutdown. And field offices will continue offering in-person assistance in what the agency calls dire circumstances such as helping people with severe disabilities, blindness or terminal illnesses. Youll need to call the local office in advance to arrange for these meetings.
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How Do I Apply For A New Or Replacement Social Security Number Card
You can get an original Social Security card or a replacement card if yours is lost or stolen. There is no charge for a Social Security card.
You can use a;my;Social Security;account to request a replacement Social Security card online if you:
- Are a U.S. citizen age 18 years or older with a U.S. mailing address.
- Are not requesting a name change or any other change to your card.
- Have a driver’s license or a state-issued identification card from one of the many participating states. If your state;does not yet participate;in this service, check back soon. More states are added regularly.
If you cannot apply for a card online, you will need to provide the required documents.;We need to see different documents depending on your citizenship and the type of card you are requesting. See;Learn What Documents You Need;to find out what documents you will have to show. Fill out and print an;Application for a Social Security Card; and contact your;local Social Security office;or your;local Social Security Card Center;to find out your submission options.
Note: If you are a U.S. Citizen, applying for a replacement SSN card, and choose to mail your application to your local office, you may use original or certified copies of secondary proofs of identity such as:
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The Importance Of Protecting Your Sin
Your SIN is confidential. You should not use it as identification or provide it for job applications, rental applications, etc. See Protecting your social insurance number for information on:
- when to use your SIN
- how to protect your SIN, and
- what you should do if you suspect someone is using your SIN
Choose The Option That Best Fits Your Situation:
|File a name change petitionFiling a Petition for a Change of Name is the most common process and results in a court order. This section will walk you through the steps.||;;;;|
|Divorced or getting divorcedIf you want to change your name back to your maiden name or a prior married name, select this process.||;;;;|
|Changing an Adult’s Name to Conform to Gender IdentityIf you want to change your name to make it match your gender identity, select this process.||;;;;|
|Recognition of gender changeIf you want to legally change your gender , proceed with this option.||;;;;|
|Getting marriedIf you recently got married and want to change your last name to your spouse’s last name, you may not have to go to court. Contact both your local DMV office and your social security office, and ask them whether you can change the name on your driver’s license and social security card simply by showing your marriage license or certificate. Note that it is possible they will tell you to get a court order, so be prepared for that.|
Note: In California, you generally have the legal right to change your name simply by using a new name in all aspects of your life, also known as the “usage method.” BUT, with few exceptions, government agencies require a court order as official proof of a name change so getting a court order is the best way to make sure you legally change your name.
Build An Emergency Fund
If you didnt have an emergency fund before 2020, you probably wished you did. If you did have one, you may need to replenish it. There are numerous philosophies about structuring emergency funds. Some suggest saving at least three months of living expenses in a liquid account, while others recommend having six or more months worth of cash. Achieving even that lower figure can be painfully difficult when youre living paycheck to paycheck, but its a goal worth building toward at any age.
If youre about to enter retirement, or already there, you may want a substantially larger emergency fund. Keeping two or three years worth of expenses in a money market fund or short-term bond fund, for example, could help you weather another crisis while leaving the rest of your retirement portfolio intact. That could save you from being forced to sell investments at the bottom of the market in a bad year. This is especially true once you reach 72 and have to take out required minimum distributions from tax-advantaged retirement funds.
Consider also keeping a cache of emergency-fund savings in those funds to use if the market plummets. If there is no crisis, no harm done. Youll just be that much better off.
Updating Your Drivers License
As of writing this article, drivers can set-up in-person appointments at the Department of Motor Vehicles .;
Per the New York State DMV , if visiting a DMV office, you must follow all safety and social distancing guidelines in effect for the office you are visiting.
- Verify the service available, hours, and appointment availability
- Services and hours vary by location
- Reservations may be required to visit an office
See information and guidelines for business and customers about COVID-19 deadline extensions and office re-openings. Many DMV offices now require reservations.
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Final Thoughts On Reporting Naturalization To Ssa
Reporting naturalization to Social Security Administration is very important.
After naturalizing to become a U.S. citizen, you are not done with the citizenship process.
Sometimes, during the oath ceremony, you will be told to update your new status with Social Security but this is not guaranteed.
Its up to you to update SSA and let them know you are now a U.S. citizen.
Some new Americans wonder whether its necessary at all to update your status from permanent resident to a naturalized citizen.
Ill tell you that it benefits you more to do this.
Of course, there is no consequence if you completely forget and choose not to notify Social Security.
Some of the benefits you get are access to some disability and retirement benefits that are only available to U.S. citizens.
Some people decide to apply for a U.S. passport first which is perfectly fine.
Since updating your status only benefits you, its in your best interest to remember to do it at some point.
Documents To Include With Form Ss
Once youve completed the form, youll need to gather the documents youre required to submit along with it to prove your identity, age, and citizenship statusthose of the person youre applying for a card on behalf ofor both. These documents typically include the following:
- An original birth certificate or other permissible proof of age, such as a passport, final adoption decree, or religious record of birth.;
- An unexpired drivers license, passport, or state ID card to prove your identity, or if you dont have one of those, a military ID, employee ID, or another identity card.
- Additional evidence of citizenship, if you are not;submitting a birth certificate or ID.;If you arent a U.S. citizen, you’ll need evidence of immigration status.
The Social Security Administration will only accept originals or copies that are certified by the agency that issued the original. You cant use photocopies, even notarized ones.
If you plan to mail your documents to the Social Security Administration, get a certified copy of your driver’s license from your state department of motor vehicles instead of sending the original.
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The Dangers Of Fad Investing
If you had an office appointment scheduled, expect to get a call from a Social Security staffer. That person will either try to help you by phone or reschedule, according to .
One impending Social Security customer service problem: the agencys toll-free number has been understaffed for years due to severe agency budget cuts.
Verify Your Identity In Person
You can;verify your identity by video;instead of;going in person to a designated government counter.
If you choose to go in person, please read the COVID-19 information provided by;Service BC;before you go.
Enhanced levels of security;make using a mobile card, or your;BC Services Card, more secure and help protect everyones privacy. This;means you must verify your identity;to set up your mobile card.
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The Agency Has Unveiled A New ‘express Interview’ Process To Help People Apply For Original Or Replacement Social Security Cards And Submit Necessary Proof Of Identity In Person But It Encourages The Public To Continue To Submit Applications Online
- May 31, 2021
The Social Security Administration closed its field offices to the public in March 2020 amid the Covid-19 pandemic to protect its employees and the vulnerable elderly and disabled population they serve. Fourteen months later, the agency has unveiled a new express interview process to help individuals apply for original or replacement Social Security cards and submit necessary proof of identity in person.
But the majority of the public must continue to rely on the agencys revamped and expanded online services to apply for Social Security and Medicare benefits and to access related critical information, such as estimates of future benefits.
Social Security is a massive federal program that touches nearly every Americans life, whether its paying FICA taxes during their working years to fund benefits for current recipients or collecting disability, retirement or survivor benefits on their own earnings record or that of a spouse or parent.
Through the end of 2020, nearly 65 million people received disability, retirement, and survivor benefits. As of Dec. 31, approximately 88% of the population age 65 and older were receiving benefits.
In its emergency message last Thursday, the Social Security Administration said, This process was established to address the challenges the public has faced providing enumeration and documentary proofs during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Updating Your Social Security Card
This is where we begin to see 2020 updates. To file for a new Social Security Card, you need your birth certificate, original Social Security Card, forms of identification varying your age, identity, citizenship, immigration status such as a passport, and your marriage license.;
Typically, you would submit these forms in-person. Now, you need to mail these important documents to the Social Security Association. Per the SSA website, you can take or mail this signed application with your documents to any Social Security office. Any documents you mail to us will be returned to you. Go here to find the Social Security office or Social Security Card Center that serves your area.
Due to short staff, there is a likelihood that your documents will be sent out-of-state. We highly encourage you to get a tracking number when mailing your documents to ensure you know where they are at all times .;
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How To Petition For A Name Change In Nebraska
In some cases, a legal name change in Nebraska may require filing a name change petition with the court. This might be necessary if you haven’t had a legal wedding or if your name change involves something more complex than taking your spouse’s last name, for example.
Wondering how to legally change your last name in Nebraska? You can find full instructions and forms to fill out at the State of Nebraska Judicial Branch website. Note that you’ll have to pay to take out ads in a local newspaper to announce your intended name change, plus there’ll be a court filing fee for a name change in Nebraska. Fees vary in different courts.
Will Covid Cause Social Security To Run Out Of Money Faster
Does COVID threaten your Social Security Benefits?
Social Security is a program you get the joy of paying into your entire working life.;The prospect of this valuable retirement income stream not being there once you leave the workforce is alarming to many Americans. As it stands now, it is not a question of if Social Security will run out of money but when. As come towards the beginning of the end of the COVID economy, you may be wondering will the Coronavirus hasten the demise of Social Security?
According to the recent eighth annual Social Security Consumer Survey by;Nationwide, a staggering 71% of Americans are worried that Social Security will run out of money during their lifetimes. At the same time, 19% of respondents stated that the Coronavirus pandemic would likely change when they chose to claim Social Security benefits. I am going to go out on a limb and guess that some of the 29% of people not worried about Social Security running out of money are in one or more of the following categories:
1) Have some other government pension
2) Are so rich it doesnt matter
3) Have already begun Social Security benefits.
While the boom in real estate transactions and soaring stock markets have been reasons for optimism, the Coronavirus has led to a more pessimistic outlook regarding things like Social Security. According to the survey, 59% of Americans are more worried about Social Security running out of money today than before the pandemic.
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Should You Change Your Retirement Strategy Due To Covid
Generally no, but you should make it a point to stay the course with your retirement funds, even if your employer has temporarily suspended its match. Those who have been working from home during the pandemic may have increased funds available due to reduced costs . If that is the case you might be wise to put additional money aside for retirement.
When Can I Expect To Receive My New Social Security Card And Other Documents
Anecdotally, newlyweds have said the deliverables have been taking over four months each. An Atlanta bride and her new husband said they found some relief throughout the process by checking their status online via the SSA website.;
However, they urged couples to stay resilient when seeking answers, making phone calls, and quality controlling the process, as some employees may be overloaded and can only offer limited help.
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How To Apply For Social Security Benefits During Covid
The SSAs outreach efforts are meant to make it easier to learn about and apply for SSI and SSDI benefits during the pandemic, particularly for those who may have limited access to Internet or phone service. If you believe that you may be eligible for SSI benefits, SSDI benefits, or Social Security retirement benefits, then you can apply for any or all of them by phone or online. Heres more on what youll need to apply for SSI and SSDI benefits.
Applying For Ssi Benefits
Before applying for SSI, the SSA advises reviewing the eligibility requirements first. Again, youll need to be blind, disabled, or at least age 65 and have a low income to qualify.
If you meet any of those requirements, then you can apply for benefits online, call the SSAs toll-free number, or call your local SSA office. Note that someone can help you with completing your application by appointing them as a third-party representative.
To complete your application, youll need to provide:
- Your name
- Your date and place of birth and Social Security number
- Name, Social Security number, and date of birth of your current or former spouse
- Names and dates of birth for your minor children
- Bank account information, including your account number and routing number for direct deposit of benefits
- Names and contact information for your medical care providers
- Details about the nature of your disability
- Names of medications youre taking and who prescribed them
- Names and dates of any medical tests youve completed
- Information about your prior years earnings
- Name and contact information for your employer
- Beginning and ending dates for military service, if applicable
- Information about any workers compensation or government benefits that you already receive
Once you fill out the application with that information, you also need to provide supporting documentation. That includes:
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Changing A Name On A Social Insurance Card
Applying at a Service Canada CentreTo apply for your Social Insurance Number , to obtain a confirmation of your SIN, or to amend your SIN record, gather all the required original proof of identity documents and take them to the nearest Service Canada office.;If everything is in order, you will get your SIN during your visit.;
- There is no fee to apply for a Social Insurance Number.
- On March 31, 2014, Service Canada began issuing SINs in paper format . Production of the plastic SIN cards has stopped.
- Original proof of identity documents are required to apply for a SIN; photocopies are not accepted.