Army Community Service held its Social Security 101 Lunch and Learn, April 24 at the Joe E Mann Center to help the Fort Jackson community learn more about their retirement benefits.

Chris Jenkins, a public affairs specialist with the Social Security Administration, led the briefing which stressed the importance of registering for Social Security as early as possible.

"Don't wait until you're 60 to come to a Social Security 101 briefing," he said. "Register for Social Security when you are 20."

Jenkins said the easiest way to learn more about Social Security benefits and to register for the "my Social Security" account is to visit

According to Jenkins, registering for Social Security early provides benefits that aren't available in later years.

"A younger person has the opportunity to create a financial portfolio that is awesome 40 years out," he said. "The younger person can squirrel away money and basically have Social Security supplementing whatever else they may have out there and vice versa."

The Social Security 101 Lunch and Learn briefing provides the opportunity for attendees to address concerns about Social Security benefits that they aren't quite clear on.

Jenkins said the most basic question he receives from an aging person is "Can I afford to live?" This question, often followed by questions concerning spousal benefits, retirement, Medicare, and how having been an active duty service member may impact some benefits.

Rosiland White, from Integrated Health Moncrief, said the Social Security 101 briefing was informative and recommends others with questions concerning Social Security attend a briefing.

"The briefing cleared up questions I had about age requirements to receive benefits." White said. "I would 100 percent recommend others attend this briefing, it was very informative if you don't know anything about Social Security or have questions, but the first thing you should do is go register; I registered a long time ago."

Greg Lewis, a member of Fort Jackson's Family Advocacy Program, team attended the briefing to gain a better understanding of spousal benefits.

"I wasn't so sure about the spouse benefits; about the spouse being able to collect on my benefits," he said. "I wasn't sure about whether she could in fact do that, and or at what age she could do it and how much she could draw. I wasn't clear about that so the information I received on that was helpful."

Lewis said that briefings like the Social Security 101 Lunch and Learn are important to stay well informed, "it's important that you talk to professional to get all the information that you can so that you are not trying to navigate on your own and be misinformed."

For more information on Social Security benefits and to register for you "my Social Security" account visit today.