Social Security General Questions
Retirement Planning in general is a complex topic and while not intentional, the various rules and myriad of options available when it comes to Social Security benefits do not make it any easier. Actually, Social Security’s main resource for the public entitled “Online Social Security Handbook: Your Basic Guide to the Social Security Programs” contains 2,728 rules and the print edition is over 700 pages in length. Needless to say, there is more to it than simply claiming Social Security benefits at 62, 66, or 70. This is where we can help. Unless you are a speed-reader or have a passion for reading government statues and regulations, you may want to give us a call when deciding what you should do about your Social Security benefits.
The bottom line is that your situation is unique and you need advice that is tailored to your needs and personal objectives. There are many factors that impact your Social Security benefits including, but not limited to:
- How can I most intelligently integrate my Social Security benefits strategy into the rest of my financial planning in order to ensure that my retirement assets last as long as possible?
- How can I claim my Social Security benefits in a tax-efficient manner?
- Who should claim spousal benefits—the husband first, the wife first, or perhaps one spouse first followed by the other spouse later?
- Should I explore the possibility of switching strategies by claiming spousal benefits and then later switching to benefits on my own record?
- If you are a survivor, are you confident that you know how best to maximize your benefits by claiming benefits at the appropriate times and on the appropriate earnings record?
- What if you have minor children?
- How do I ensure that my survivors receive the highest benefits possible?
- Do I qualify for benefits based on the record of my prior spouse?
Social Security AdvisorsSM was founded to help hard-working Americans successfully navigate the Social Security maze and maximize their benefits. Our clients can plan with confidence because our service always comes with our Maximum Social Security GuaranteeSM. Call to speak with a Social Security Advisor to get started.
Your Social Security Statement, which is mailed to you by the Social Security Administration approximately two months before your birthday each year, can be a good starting point in estimating the benefits available to you. You can also estimate your general benefit levels on the Social Security Administration website at: www.SSA.gov/Estimator.
As the experts in maximizing your Social Security benefits, let us help you take the guesswork out of this critical retirement decision. Contact us today and let your Social Security Advisor help you maximize your Social Security.
The PIA formula is designed to replace a larger portion of earnings for people with lower earnings than for those with larger earnings. Social Security benefits may replace 60% of pre-retirement income for someone earning minimum wage, but only 25% of income for someone earning the maximum income that is subject to Social Security taxes. If you earn twice the maximum income that is subject to Social Security taxes, then Social Security will replace roughly 12.5% of your income.
To read more about the PIA and how it is calculated visit: More About PIA
Your Full Retirement Age is determined based on your year of birth:
- If you were born in 1937 or earlier, your Full Retirement Age is 65.
- If you were born between 1938 and 1959, your Full Retirement Age will be between ages 65 and 67 depending on the year of your birth. For all births between 1943 and 1954, Full Retirement Age is 66.
- If you were born in 1960 or later, your Full Retirement Age is 67.
For a complete chart of Full Retirement Ages visit: Full Retirement Age Chart
The earliest age at which an individual can begin receiving retirement benefits remains 62 regardless of his or her Full Retirement Age. The increase in benefits received for delaying retirement past your FRA (called Delayed Retirement Credits) will cease to continue to accumulate at age 70.
When deciding when to begin receiving your Social Security benefits, many factors must be taken into account, including, but not limited to: life expectancy, general health, marital status (and previous marital status), work status, tax status, and your overall financial circumstances and lifestyle objectives.
According to the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, many individuals and couples make suboptimal choices when deciding how and when to collect their Social Security benefits, resulting in over $25 billion per year in lost retirement benefits. Let us help you make sure that you are not one of them. Call us today to speak with a Social Security Advisor and ask about our Maximum Social Security GuaranteeSM.
|At Full Retirement Age or Older
|No limit on earnings
|Under Full Retirement Age
|$15,120 (For every $2 over the limit, $1 is withheld from benefits)
|In the year you reach Full Retirement Age
|$40,080 (For every $3 over the limit, $1 is withheld from benefits until the month you reach Full Retirement Age)
The Earnings Test is based on earned income which includes wages, salary, and self-employed income. It does not include interest income, dividends, capital gains, withdrawals from a 401(k), 403(b), traditional IRA, Roth IRA, Keogh and other deductible pensions, nor withdrawals from non-qualified tax-deferred annuities.
You may be able to receive some benefits prior to your Full Retirement Age while still being eligible to receive your full benefit once you reach your FRA. To discuss your specific circumstances and the options available to you in order to maximize your Social Security, call us to speak with a Social Security Advisor.