HomeNewsHow To Start My...

How To Start My Social Security Benefits

Should You Wait Until You’re Older To Get A Bigger Payout Or Retire Early With A Smaller Payout

How You Can Stop and Restart Social Security Benefits

“Social Security can act as insurance against living longer than you anticipate, and it provides some inflation protection since your benefit is adjusted for cost-of-living increases,” Tierney said. “The longer you or your spouse expect to live, the more it may make sense to wait to claim your Social Security benefit.”

But just because you decide to wait to claim your benefits doesn’t mean you have to delay your retirement, she explained. However, you should make sure you’ve got income coming in from your 401 or other investments so you can afford your living expenses if you delay claiming your benefit.

However, if you’re solely relying on Social Security benefits to pay for your expenses in retirement, waiting to retire and claiming your benefits at a later date could be a better choice. You’ll receive more money each month and you’ll have more time to save for retirement.

Also, if you choose to retire early, your benefits will be reduced for each month before full retirement age. For instance, if you were born in 1960 or later and retire at age 62 with a retirement benefit of $1,000 per month, your payment would be reduced to $700 .

On the plus side, that’s still $700 you would otherwise not receive during that time if you didn’t draw your Social Security benefits. So you might benefit from collecting payments over a longer period of time.

Is it possible to run out of money after retiring early?

Beware The Social Security Earnings Test

Bringing in too much money in earned income can cost you if you continue to work after claiming Social Security benefits early. With what is commonly known as the Social Security earnings test for annual income, you will forfeit $1 in benefits for every $2 you make over the earnings limit, which in 2022 is $19,560. Once you are past full retirement age, the earnings test no longer applies, and you can make as much money as you want with no impact on benefits.

Any Social Security benefits forfeited to the earnings test are not lost forever. At your full retirement age, the Social Security Administration will recalculate your benefits to take into account benefits lost to the test. For example, if you claim benefits at 62 and over the next four years lose one full years worth of benefits to the earnings test, at a full retirement age of 66 your benefits will be recomputed and increased as if you had taken benefits three years early, instead of four. That basically means the lifetime reduction in benefits would be 20% rather than 25%.

Get Ssa Benefits While Living Abroad

U.S. citizens can travel to or live in most, but not all, foreign countries and still receive their Social Security benefits. You can find out if you can receive benefits overseas by using the Social Security Administrations payment verification tool. Once you access the tool, pick the country you’re visiting or living in from the drop-down menu options.

Read Also: Elevator Division Retirement Benefit Plan

Working May Affect Your Retirement Income Benefit

You can work and still receive Social Security retirement benefits, but the income that you earn before you reach full retirement age may affect the amount of benefit that you receive. Here’s how:

  • If you’re under full retirement age: $1 in benefits will be deducted for every $2 in earnings you have above the annual limit
  • In the year you reach full retirement age: $1 in benefits will be deducted for every $3 you earn over the annual limit until the month you reach full retirement age

Once you reach full retirement age, you can work and earn as much income as you want without reducing your Social Security retirement benefit. And keep in mind that if some of your benefits are withheld prior to your full retirement age, you’ll generally receive a higher monthly benefit at full retirement age, because after retirement age the SSA recalculates your benefit every year and gives you credit for those withheld earnings

The Source Ofand Solution Tothe Problem

My Social Security Benefit Statement for Public Display

When the current Social Security formula was put in place in 1977, no provision was made for the contingency that economic conditions would be so dire that average wages would fall in any given year. This problem first surfaced in 2009 during the Great Recession. The AWI, however, fell by a relatively small amount, and policymakers chose not to do anything about it. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the decline in the AWI is likely to be about four times as big now as it was during the Great Recession.

There is ample precedent for fixing this problem. The first precedent concerns Social Security cost-of-living allowances . As mentioned above, payments in years after beneficiaries first year of retirement are indexed to inflation using a version of the consumer price index . However, under the law, if prices fall in any year, benefits are not adjusted downward rather, they remain the same. The second precedent concerns the Social Security contribution and benefit base, also known as the taxable maximum. The taxable maximum is the dollar amount of annual earnings above which the Social Security payroll tax does not apply. The taxable maximum is indexed to the AWIbut like COLAs, it is never adjusted downward.

Also Check: How To Stop Social Security Benefits After Death

Social Security: What Every Woman Needs To Know

When do I become eligible for benefits?

  • As a worker: You must work and pay Social Security taxes for at least 10 years , and be at least 62 years old.
  • As a spouse or divorced spouse: You must be at least 62 years old. If you are divorced, you must have been married to your ex-spouse for at least 10 years and currently be unmarried.
  • As a widow: You must be at least 60 years old . If you are divorced, you can claim the survivors benefit if you were married at least 10 years and are currently unmarried .

If I qualify for more than one benefit, can I receive the total amount of both?

No. You will receive the benefit amount that provides you with the higher monthly benefit, but you do not receive both benefits added together.

When can I receive Social Security retirement benefits?You may receive full benefits at full retirement age. Full retirement age is increasing gradually until it reaches age 67 for those who were born 1960 or later. See the chart below.

Year of Birth
67

What happens to my benefit if I claim early?

If you start your benefits early, your benefits are reduced permanently. Your benefit is reduced about one-half of one percent for each month you start your Social Security before your full retirement age. For example, if your full retirement age is 67 and you sign up for Social Security when you are 62, you would only get 70% percent of your full benefit.

What happens to my benefit if I delay claiming it?

Can I work and still receive my Social Security benefit?

Find Your Social Security Full Retirement Age

You can claim your Social Security benefits a few years before or after your full retirement age, and your monthly benefit amount will vary as a result. But first you have to know what it is.

Also known as normal retirement age, your Social Security Full Retirement age is the age at which youre entitled to 100% of the Social Security benefits youve earned. FRA is 66 for beneficiaries born between 1943 and 1954 it gradually increases to 67 for beneficiaries born in 1960 or later. If you take benefits before FRA, your benefits will be reduced. If you file at age 62, for example, benefits will be as much as 30% lower. More on that in a moment.

You May Like: Medicare Advantage Plans With Dental Benefits

What’s Full Retirement Age

Full retirement age is when you’re eligible to receive full Social Security benefits. Your full retirement age depends on your birth year: For anyone born in 1960 or later, full retirement age is 67. For those born in 1955 through to the end of 1959 , full retirement age ranges between 66 and 2 months and 66 and 10 months. If you were born before 1955, you’ve already reached age 66 and full retirement age.

Bridge To Medicare At Age 65

Can You Stop and Restart Social Security Benefits?

Remember that while you are eligible for reduced Social Security benefits at 62, you won’t be eligible for Medicare until age 65, so you will probably have to pay for private health insurance in the meantime. That can eat up a large chunk of your Social Security payments.

Read Viewpoints on Fidelity.com: Your bridge to Medicare

Don’t Miss: Is Social Security Benefits Exempt From Garnishment

I Have Never Accessed Mysocial Security And I Do Not Have A Logingov Or Idme Credential:

Visit www.ssa.gov/myaccount to get started. You will have the option to create an account with our preferred credential partner, Login.gov. You can also access your information with an ID.me account if you have one. Keep in mind:

  • You must be 18 years of age or older, have a Social Security number and a U.S. mailing address.
  • You will be redirected to the partners website when you select Sign In with Login.gov or Sign in with ID.me.
  • You must provide a valid email address and some additional information.
  • Once you create the credential, you will return to the mySocial Security webpage for next steps.

Costs Of The Solution

Two issues that are likely to arise in any discussion of fixing this problem are its cost to the Social Security trust fund and its cost to the federal budget. With regard to the cost to the Social Security trust fund, there are three ways to look at the issue.

One way is to view the cost relative to costs in a world in which no pandemic had occurred. For example, the cost could be measured using the economic assumptions in the most recent Social Security trustees report , which were formulated before the pandemic began. From this perspective, the cost would be zero because the legislative change would restore the world of Social Security benefits to what it would have looked like had there been no pandemic.

A second way of looking at the issue is to view the cost of the change relative to costs in a world that reflected economic assumptions indicative of the economic recession caused by the pandemic. From this viewpoint, there would be a cost associated with fixing the problem. For example, the chief actuary of the SSA estimates that if the AWI in 2020 were to fall 5.9 percent below its 2019 level, the AWI adjustments proposed by Chairman Larson would cost $90 billion in present-value dollars for the 75-year period from 2020 through 2094about 0.02 percent of taxable payroll over that period. . The cost over the 10-year period from 2020 to 2029 would be about $21 billion in nominal dollars.

Don’t Miss: Ssa.gov/benefits/medicare Extra Help

Delaying Retirement Will Increase Your Benefit

For each month that you delay receiving Social Security retirement benefits past your full retirement age, your benefit will increase by a certain percentage. This percentage varies depending on your year of birth. For example, if you were born in 1943 or later, your benefit will increase 8 percent for each year that you delay receiving benefits, up until age 70. In addition, working past your full retirement age has another benefit: It allows you to add years of earnings to your Social Security record. As a result, you may receive a higher benefit when you do retire, especially if your earnings are higher than in previous years.

Social Security: Why Not Everyone Will Get An 87% Cola Increase In 2023

When to Take Social Security Retirement Benefits (Spreadsheet)

Social Security recipients will soon find out what their new monthly payments will be in 2023 after the 8.7% cost-of-living adjustment kicks in. Beginning in December, the Social Security Administration will start mailing COLA notices to beneficiaries providing details on next years payment amounts.

Learn: 5 Things You Must Do When Your Savings Reach $50,000

You might wonder why you have to wait for the SSA to tell you the new amount when you could simply multiply your current payment by 8.7%. Thats not how it works, however. Some payment increases will be higher than 8.7%, and some will be lower.

The reason is that the COLA is applied to your primary insurance amount rather than your current benefit and the two are not always the same. According to the SSA, the PIA is the benefit you would get if you elect to begin receiving retirement benefits at your normal or full retirement age. At this age, the benefit is neither reduced for early retirement nor increased for delayed retirement.

The PIA formula sounds like something youd study in a college calculus course. Its based on the sum of three separate percentages of portions of average indexed monthly earnings, the SSA said on its website. The portions depend on the year a recipient reached age 62, became disabled before age 62, or died before attaining age 62.

See: 6 Things You Must Do When Planning For Retirement

More From GOBankingRates

Also Check: Tax Benefits Of Incorporating In Delaware

People Are Also Reading

But many seniors don’t wait until their FRA to sign up. So the Social Security Administration runs an additional calculation to adjust the PIA up or down for those who claim early or late. People who claim benefits under their FRA get more checks, but each one is smaller. And those who delay benefits past their FRA slowly grow their checks a little at a time until they reach their largest possible checks at 70.

Once you’re receiving benefits, you’ll get a COLA every year, and the government has to rerun its calculations to see how much you’re entitled to for the next year. It goes like this:

  • It adds the COLA to your PIA and rounds it to the next lowest dime.
  • It runs your PIA through a formula to adjust it up or down if you claimed benefits before or after your FRA and rounds that to the next lowest dime.
  • It subtracts the cost of your Medicare Part B premium if you’re already on Medicare.
  • It rounds the resulting amount down to the next lowest dollar.
  • Social Security Cola 202: When Will My Benefits Increase Begin

    This week, the Social Security Administration announced the biggest payment increase for the program in decades. Every year since 1975, the SSA has instituted a cost-of-living adjustment after analyzing rates of inflation to see how much to increase beneficiary amounts to help recipients keep up with the cost of goods.

    Next: 5 Things You Must Do When Your Savings Reach $50,000

    The latest COLA is a record 8.7% bump, taking into account the rampant rates of inflation that have been affecting Americans all year. As noted by CBS, the last time Social Security saw this kind of increase was back in 1981 when the SSA announced a COLA of 11.2%.

    The news of the 2023 payment increase comes as a relief to the many seniors and other beneficiaries of Social Security who have been struggling to pay bills and buy groceries as prices keep rising.

    According to the latest Consumer Price Index report , the cost of food is up 11.2% over this time last year while utilities like electric and piped gas are up 19.8% and the cost of housing is up 6.6%.

    With the payment increase in 2023, Forbes said 8.7% more will equate to an average added monthly benefit of $144 for individuals and $240 extra for couples filing jointly. But the biggest question on many peoples minds is: When will these increases start being reflected in monthly payments?

    Take Our Poll: Are You Struggling To Keep Up With Your Utility Bills?

    Medicare premium decreases will also take effect in January 2023.

    More From GOBankingRates

    You May Like: Early Retirement Social Security Benefits

    What Is A Social Security Card

    Your Social Security card is an important piece of identification. You’ll need one to get a job, collect Social Security, or receive other government benefits.

    When you apply for a Social Security number , the Social Security Administration will assign you a nine-digit number. This is the same number that is printed on the Social Security card that SSA will issue you. If you change your name, you will need to get a corrected card.

    A Guide On Taking Social Security

    When To Start Taking Social Security Benefits

    Deciding when to take Social Security depends heavily on your circumstances. You can start taking it as early as age 62 , or you can wait until you’ve reached full retirement age or age 70 based on your work history. While there’s no “correct” claiming age for everybody, the rule of thumb is that if you can afford to wait, delaying Social Security can pay off over a long retirement. Here are some guidelines to consider.

    Recommended Reading: Are Medicare Benefits The Same In Every State

    Eligible Family Members Include:

    • Ex-spouses, if the marriage lasted for at least 10 years and they have not remarried
    • Children under 18, or up to 19 if still enrolled in high school
    • Children of any age who were disabled before 22 — that is, not earning more than $1,260 per month in 2020, having a medical condition that results in severe functional limitations and that is expected to last 12 months or longer or result in death

    Spouses and ex-spouses must be at least 62 in order to claim benefits, and spouses and children must wait for the worker to begin claiming benefits themselves before they can claim family benefits on their record.

    Most Popular

    More from Author

    Read Now

    Social Security Benefits Sign Up

    Next Steps For Apply For Ssdi Or Ssi Benefits How To Sign Up For My Social Security Account Online Evidence required by DDS for case documentation ...

    How To Sign Up For Medicare Benefits

    Quality Of Beneficiary Services How To Apply For Medicare Online - Step By Step A 2001 study by the Government Accountability Office evaluated the quality of responses given by...

    When Does Social Security Recalculate Benefits

    How Much Can I Earn And Still Get Benefits Will Your Social Security Benefit Be Recalculated? When you begin receiving Social Security retirement benefits, you are considered retired for...

    What Is Social Security Death Benefit

    What About My Ex How Does The Social Security Lump Sum Death Benefit Work? Spousal benefits for divorced spouses are affected by the Bipartisan Budget Act, too. Previously,...

    Aetna Medicare Advantage Plan Benefits

    What Do Aetna Medicare Advantage Plans Offer How to choose the right Medicare plan to stay connected Aetna Medicare Advantage plans vary based on your location, but many plans...

    File Taxes On Ssi Benefits

    Is My Social Security Income Taxable The Quick Answer How to pay less in taxes on your Social Security benefits According to the IRS, the quick way to see...

    Life Care Centers Of America Employee Benefits

    Tips For Getting Hired Bank of America Employee Benefits | Benefit Overview Summary 1. Showcase your experienceWhen applying for a position at Life Care Centers of America, be sure...

    Age Of Social Security Benefits

    Social Security Disability Insurance 7 GOOD REASONS to File for Social Security Benefits at Age 62 SSDI is a federal insurance program that is administered by the Social Security...

    Ernst And Young Retirement Benefits Plan

    Allocation Up To 30% Of Annual Savings To Pli And Up To 30% Of Wealth At Age 55 To Dia With Iip May Be Appropriate When Optimizing Retirement Income And Legacy Value Outcomes Retirement...

    What Is Maximum Social Security Benefit For 2021

    A Little Bit On Social Security How much your Social Security benefits will be if you make $30,000, $35,000 or $40,000 Unfortunately, most people wont be able to get...

    What Are The Benefits Of Corporate Social Responsibility

    What Is Csr And Why Is It Important CSR: What is Corporate Social Responsibility? Definition Examples Benefits Corporate social responsibility is the concept of incorporating philanthropy, ethics, and activism...

    Medicare Plan J Supplement Benefits

    The 10 Standard Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans Medicare Supplement: Benefits There are 10 Medicare supplement insurance plans. Each plan is labeled with a letter of the alphabet and has...