Finance Blog

Stay financially savvy with the Equifax Advisor.

Sign up for our FREE Monthly Email Newsletter


Thank you for signing up for the FREE Equifax monthly newsletter

In addition to keeping in the financial know, you may be interested in checking your credit score and report.

Understand your credit. Help protect your identity.

Equifax Complete™ Premier Plan

  • Know What May Influence Your Credit Score and Be Alerted of Changes
    Credit score monitoring with custom alerts
    Important Disclosure: The Equifax credit score and 3-Bureau credit scores are based on an Equifax credit score model and are not the same scores used by 3rd parties to assess your creditworthiness.¹
  • Help Protect Your Identity
    Automatic fraud alerts encourages lenders to take extra steps to verify your identity²
  • Lock Your Credit
    The ability to lock and unlock your Equifax Credit Report³
Save 75% your first 30 days with the purchase of Equifax Complete™ Premier

$4.95 for the first 30 days, then $19.95 per month thereafter. You may cancel at any time; however, we do not provide partial month refunds.4

¹The credit scores provided under the offers described here use the Equifax Credit Score, which is a proprietary credit model developed by Equifax. The Equifax Credit Score and 3-Bureau scores are each based on the Equifax Credit Score model, but calculated using the information in your Equifax, Experian and TransUnion credit files. The Equifax Credit Score is intended for your own educational use. It is also commercially available to third parties along with numerous other credit scores and models in the marketplace. Please keep in mind third parties are likely to use a different score when evaluating your creditworthiness. Also, third parties will take into consideration items other than your credit score or information found in your credit file, such as your income.

²The Automatic Fraud Alert feature is made available to consumers by Equifax Information Services LLC and fulfilled on its behalf by Equifax Consumer Services LLC.

³Equifax Credit Report Control™ is only available while you have a current subscription to Equifax Complete Premier. Locking your credit file with Equifax Credit Report Control will prevent access to your Equifax credit file by certain third parties, such as credit grantors or other companies and agencies. Credit Report Control will not prevent access to your credit file at any other credit reporting agency, and will not prevent access to your Equifax credit file by companies like Equifax Personal Solutions which provide you with access to your credit report or credit score or monitor your credit file; Federal, state and local government agencies; companies reviewing your application for employment; companies that have a current account or relationship with you, and collection agencies acting on behalf of those whom you owe; for fraud detection and prevention purposes; and companies that wish to make pre-approved offers of credit or insurance to you. To opt out of such pre-approved offers, visit www.optoutprescreen.com/.

4We will require you to provide your payment information when you sign up and we will immediately charge your card $4.95. After that, we will charge the card $19.95 for each month you continue your subscription. You may cancel at any time; however, we do not provide partial month refunds.

Equifax® is a registered trademark and Equifax Complete™ Premier is a trademark of Equifax, Inc. © 2014, Equifax Inc., Atlanta, Georgia. All rights reserved.

Mythbusters: Social Security

Written by Steve Repak on February 17, 2015 in Retirement  |   11 comments

“Don’t believe anything you hear and only half of what you see.” I remember hearing that from my mom when I was growing up, and it still serves me well today. Some of the things you might have heard or read about Social Security may…

Mythbusters Social Security“Don’t believe anything you hear and only half of what you see.”

I remember hearing that from my mom when I was growing up, and it still serves me well today. Some of the things you might have heard or read about Social Security may not be true.

Here are five Social Security myths you may have thought were fact.

Myth #1: Your Social Security benefit is based on a specific timeframe of your employment.

You may have heard that your Social Security benefits are based off of your three highest-earning years of employment, your last 10 years of employment, or your last five years of work. However, according to the Social Security Administration (SSA), your benefits are typically computed using average lifetime earnings, up to a maximum of 35 years, indexed to bring past earnings up to an equivalent income in current dollars.

Myth #2: If you retire from the military, you cannot receive your military pension and collect your Social Security retirement benefits.

The good news for service members is that you can get both Social Security retirement benefits and military retirement pension. Generally, the SSA will not reduce your Social Security benefits because of your retirement benefits for active service in the military. Since 1988, service in the armed forces reserves (such as weekend drills) has also been covered by Social Security.

Myth #3: It is always better to wait to start collecting your Social Security retirement benefits.

People born from 1943 to 1954 qualify for full Social Security benefits at age 66; those born from 1955 to 1959 qualify at monthly increments between ages 66 and 67; and if you were born in 1960 or later, your retirement age for full benefits is 67. If you do plan on waiting until a later age to start collecting your Social Security benefits, your benefit payout would be higher—in theory.

However, no two people are alike, and you need to take into account your personal circumstances to determine the best course of action. Consider factors such as your life expectancy, marital status, and children before deciding to wait.

There are cases when it makes sense to collect early. For example, what if your life expectancy is shortened due to an injury or illness? In a case like this, there is a possibility that waiting to collect the higher payout might yield a lower benefit in total.

You can estimate benefit amounts and find more information to help you decide when to start receiving retirement benefits by using the Benefits Planners online at www.socialsecurity.gov/planners. You also can use the Retirement Estimator at www.socialsecurity.gov/estimator or create an account to see your Social Security statement at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.

Myth #4: It is always better to start collecting your Social Security retirement benefits as soon as possible.

The earliest you can start to receive Social Security retirement benefits is 62, but the sooner you start collecting your benefits, the lower your monthly payment. For example, if your full retirement age is 66, and you choose to start getting benefits at 62, your monthly benefit will be reduced by 25 percent to account for the longer period of time during which you will receive benefits. This is a permanent reduction in your monthly benefit.

Just as waiting to collect benefits in order to maximize your monthly payment is not always the best course of action, starting to collect benefits as soon as you are eligible might hurt you in the long run, depending on your personal circumstances. If your life expectancy is average or above and you choose to file later, it could mean not only a higher monthly payment but also a higher total lifetime payment.

Myth #5: Social Security will run out of money by 2033 and will quit paying benefits.

The trustees in charge of the Social Security Trust Fund did project in 2014 that the fund will run out of reserves by 2033. However, even if Congress does not act between now and then, the SSA expects that Social Security tax revenues will still cover approximately 77 percent of all benefits after that date.

Steve Repak is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, CFP® Board Ambassador, and financial literacy speaker. He is also an Army veteran and the author of Dollars & Uncommon Sense: Basic Training For Your Money. Follow him on Twitter: @SteveRepak


The information contained in this blog post is designed to generally educate and inform visitors to the Equifax Finance Blog. The blog posts do not give, and should not be assumed to provide, personalized tax, investment, real estate, legal, retirement, credit, personal financial, or other professional advice. Before making any financial decision, you should always consult with the appropriate professionals who can explain your options, rights, and legal responsibilities, and advise you on any tax, legal, credit, or business implications that may result from those decisions. The views and opinions expressed by the authors of blog posts are their own views and may not be the views or opinions of Equifax, Inc. and/or its affiliates.


  1. Anonymous says:

    The best advice I ever heard about Social Security and retirement was to not depend on SS alone. You need to invest for your future. You need to save aggressively. Retirement is just around the corner.

  2. Retiring One Day says:

    I definitely agree with not counting on social security to providing a comfortable retirement. I always heard that social security would not be around for when I retired so I am glad to know that as least I will get 77 cents on the dollar instead of nothing!

  3. anonymous says:

    well said; why would anyone feel safe counting on uncle sam to take care of them in their golden years?? SS benefits should be gravy, not the meat and potatoes of your retirement income

  4. Anonymous says:

    your benefits are typically computed using average lifetime earnings, up to a maximum of 35 years, indexed to bring past earnings up to an equivalent income in current dollars..

    I had 37 1/2 years of service.Do they start from the beginning or the end to use the maximum 35 years?

  5. Anonymous says:

    SSA its the greatest “pozi scheme” since (8/14/35) ever …. FACT: it will NEVER go busted (why!), a cash-cow for “those” who usurped the US Constitution, they skim billions yearly …. since you’re not going to believe it or do anything about it , so take yours, stay out of debt and live happily ever after ….

  6. Patricia H. says:

    When they say they pay an average on lifetime earnings, what does that mean? One year I only made 10,000 and the top year was 40,000, does that mean they’ll pay $25,000 a year. Just for an example. I know we only get a percentage of our earnings. It’s very confusing for me because I don’t know what percentage they’d pay.

    • Terry says:

      go online to ssa.gov and create an account and they have all your earnings information as well as payment options

      • Pragya says:

        This is one of those pieces of ltsiglaeion that will have a far reaching impact on society (some good some bad) for a long time. The impact is going to be cumulative over the years. In the next 12 months you will have some of those people who were due to retire this year staying in employment. In reality, I suspect, many will have already made their retirement plans so most will still retire when expected. As time goes by a larger percentage of people reaching the current retirement age will decide to stay on and of course the average age of post retirement age’ employees will increase. In a year’s time you will have men aged 66 still working, but in 5 years time you will have some men of 70 still not wanting to retire. It is at this stage that the things will start to bite. There will be more cases of older employees wanting to continue to work but in some cases not up to the job they were doing a decade before. On the plus side so many businesses lose ingrained knowledge by way of compulsory retirement and ways in which the value of those older employees can be tapped and appreciated will be a challenge for industry. From the employees point of view many will welcome the ability to continue to earn into later life. Such earnings can be both a need (with pension provision in crisis) and a welcome opportunity to spend that additional money which boosts the economy. Lets not forget that disposable income tends to increase with age as things like mortgages get paid off or at lest are less of a burden then when starting out. So, interesting time ahead which always brings plenty of opportunities for those with an open mind.

  7. Chris says:

    I tried using the calculators on the SS website. I hope that it is still around in 20 years when I hopefully have a chance to retire. My only other option will be working well into my golden years.

    • EFX Moderator says:

      Glad you found the tools on the Social Security Administration’s website useful. Good luck saving for retirement.

  8. Carolyn R. says:

    how you still receive Social Security from my dad passing away when will they stop and is my guardian capable of taking a trust fund that was under my name and my grandmother’s name

Leave a Comment

Name :

Commenting guidelines

We welcome your interest and participation on this forum, but be aware that comments will be published at Equifax's sole discretion. Please don't use this blog to submit questions or concerns about your Equifax credit report or raise customer service issues. Instead, you should contact Equifax directly for all such matters and any attempts to do so in this forum will be promptly re-directed.

Some other factors to consider when commenting:
  1. Registration and privacy. While no registration is required to visit our forum, participants wishing to post a message must register by creating an account. All personal information provided by forum members incident to registration is governed by our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.
  2. All comments are anonymous. We'll delete your name, e-mail address, and any other identifying information, including details about your investments.
  3. We can't post or respond to every comment - As much as we'd like to, we can't post every comment, nor can we guarantee that we will respond to each individual message. All questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or similar customer service issues should be handled by contacting Equifax directly.
  4. Don't offer specific legal, tax or financial advice. All of the materials on this Site are for information, education, and noncommercial purposes only and this forum is not intended as a means of expressing views or ideas regarding any specific legal, tax, or investment advice. While offering general rules of thumb is both permitted and encouraged, recommending specific ideas or strategies regarding investments, taxes, and related matters is prohibited.
  5. Credit Repair. This blog is not intended as a venue for the discussion or exchange of ideas regarding credit repair or other strategies intended to assist visitors and community members improve or otherwise modify their credit histories, ratings or scores.
  6. Stay on topic. Your comment should be concise and pertain to the specific post in question.
  7. Be respectful of the community. The use of profanity, offensive language, spam, and personal attacks will not be tolerated and egregious or repeat offenders will be banned from future participation. We encourage disagreement and healthy debate, but please refrain from personal attacks on our WordPresss and contributors.
  8. Finally: Participation in this forum may be terminated by Equifax immediately and without notice for failure to comply with any guidelines or Terms of Use. As such, you should familiarize yourself with all pertinent requirements prior to submitting any response through the blog or otherwise. All opinions expressed in this forum are solely those of the individual submitting the comment, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.

Equifax maintains this interactive forum for education and information purposes in order to allow individuals to share their relevant knowledge and opinions with other members and visitors. We encourage you to participate in discussions about personal finance issues and other topics of interest to this community, but please read our commenting guidelines first. Equifax reserves the right to monitor postings to the forum and comments will be published at our discretion. Do you have questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or customer-service issues regarding an Equifax product? If so, please contact Equifax directly. All opinions and information expressed or shared in blog comments are solely those of the person submitting the comments, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.

Retirement Archive