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Chapter 23. Social Security and Medicare > What Kind of Benefits? - Pg. 240

Social Security and Medicare 1. 2. 3. 4. The number of years you have worked (used as a base). An adjustment for wage inflation. Your average adjusted monthly earnings based on the number of years figured in step 1. Your average adjusted earnings multiplied by a percentage in a specific formula. 240 Sounds easy, huh? If you're interested in trying it yourself, contact the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 or and ask for bulletin 05-10070, which has a complete worksheet. If you wish to speak to a representative, the hours are 7 A.M. to 7 P.M. on business days, but there's a recorded information line that you can call 24 hours a day. So if you're bored late one night, call and request that a bulletin be sent to you. Be sure to have your Social Security number handy. Warning! You should hang onto your tax returns for three to six years. But you should hang onto the W-2s longer, at least until you've had the opportunity to check your earnings history from the SSA against your W-2s. If the SSA doesn't have correct information, those annual slips of paper are the only proof of what you earned or that you were employed.