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March 20, 2012 > Girl Scouts are prepared; are you?

Girl Scouts are prepared; are you?

By Mariaelena Lemus, Social Security Public Affairs Specialist in San Jose

March 2012 marks the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts.

It was on March 9, 1912 that Juliette Gordon Low made a phone call to her cousin and said, "I've got something for the girls ... and we're going to start it tonight." A few days later, on March 12, she organized the first U.S. "Girl Guide" troop in Savannah, Georgia, with 18 members in two patrols. Today, there more than three million Girl Scouts. The organization's motto is "Be prepared."

That same advice can help your retirement savings to grow as plentiful as the Girl Scouts have over the last 100 years.

The best way for you to "be prepared" when it comes to retirement planning is to visit our online Retirement Estimator. The Estimator can give you an instant, personalized picture of your future retirement benefits from Social Security. Enter different scenarios (such as different future earnings amounts or dates of retirement) to find out how that will change the benefit amount you can expect to receive. It's available at www.socialsecurity.gov/estimator.

Knowing how much you can expect to receive from Social Security, coupled with any retirement plans you may have through your employer, will help you figure out how much you need to save for your retirement.

Looking for more tips on planning for the future? Pay a visit to our Benefits Planners as well. You can use the planners to help you better understand your Social Security protection as you plan for your financial future. Get started at www.socialsecurity.gov/planners.

Another great source of help is the Ballpark E$timate. It includes a two-page worksheet that helps you quickly identify approximately how much you need to save to fund a comfortable retirement. The Ballpark E$timate takes issues like projected Social Security benefits and earnings assumptions on savings, and turns them into language and mathematics that are easy to understand. You can find it at www.choosetosave.org/ballpark.

You don't have to be a Girl Scout to be prepared. Sit down at your computer - perhaps with a box of Girl Scout cookies - and plan for your future. You could be celebrating your own 100th year one day; you might as well do it comfortably.

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