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En español | Q. My annual Social Security statement is not due for six months, but I need to get a copy sooner. How can I do that?

A. You need to submit a Social Security statement request form. Download one from the agency's website, www.ssa.gov, and mail it in. Or fill it out on the site and send it electronically. The agency won't respond online but will mail your statement in two to four weeks. You can also get the form by calling 1-800-772-1213 or by going to a Social Security office. For more, visit the SSA website and click on "Request a Social Security Statement" on the left side of the screen.

Stan Hinden, a former columnist for the Washington Post, wrote How to Retire Happy: The 12 Most Important Decisions You Must Make Before You Retire. Have a question for the Social Security Mailbox? Check out the archive. If you don't find your answer there, send a query.

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