‘Your future is what you make it’

Published 12:08 pm Saturday, October 3, 2015

In 1985, after making it back to the future from 1955, Marty joined Doc for a drive 30 years into the future.

That future is now.

If the alternate 2015 of the Back to the Future film series were accurate, we’d be easing along on hover boards, navigating skyways in flying cars, and enjoying the luxuries of self-lacing sneakers and self-fitting jackets.

In that imagined 2015, we conduct business by fax and watch multiple channels of entertainment on the wall. In some ways, the real 2015 is far more advanced than the imagined one of the movies. You don’t see any computers or online services in the movie — let alone the computers most of us carry around with us in the form of smart phones and tablets.

In the real 2015, you can do a far better job of predicting your own future.

Just visit the Retirement Estimator at www.socialsecurity.gov/estimator. With the Retirement Estimator, you can plug in some basic information to get an instant, personalized estimate of your future benefits.

Different choices in life can alter the course of your future, so try out different scenarios such as higher and lower future earnings amounts and various retirement dates to get a good prediction of how such things can change your future benefit amounts.

As Doc said in the final moments of the film series, no one’s future has been written yet.

“Your future is what you make it. So make it a good one.”

With the information you get from the Retirement Estimator, you’ll have a better idea of what types of savings and pensions you may need, and at what age you should consider retiring — to make your future the best it can be.

You don’t need a converted DeLorean or flux capacitor or even a team of creative filmmakers to predict your future. Just visit the Retirement Estimator at www.socialsecurity.gov/estimator.

And when you’re ready to put that future in motion, apply for benefits online at www.socialsecurity.gov/applyonline.

BRENDA JOHNS is district manager for the Farmville office of Social Security. Her email address is Brenda.johns@ssa.gov.