The Perks Of Waiting For Social Security
There’s a big payoff for waiting until 70 if you’re claiming based on your work record. But if you’re taking benefits based on a current or ex-spouse’s record, you won’t earn delayed retirement credits beyond your full retirement age, so there’s no reason to wait until 70.
But if you’re waiting until 70 to start benefits based on your own record, you can expect your checks to be about 77% more than they would have been had you claimed as soon as you turned 62. That doesn’t mean waiting makes sense for everyone, but if you’re in good health and have a long life expectancy, delaying as long as possible is typically a sound strategy.
Reasons You Might Not Receive Social Security Benefits
Social Security is a lifeline for millions of retirees and other older Americans who are still in the workforce. Making sure you qualify for every dollar youve got coming to you is not a step you want to skip and believe it or not, Social Security is not guaranteed. In fact, there are more than a half-dozen ways that you could miss out on benefits that you were counting on and that you paid for with your tax dollars.
How Much Social Security Will I Get At Age 63 Benefits Explained
Social Security benefit payments are released monthly to recipients. The amount of payment you receive depends on several factors including your age. How much social security will you get at age 63?
The Social Security benefits program started in 1935. People contribute to the program during their working years and receive the benefits in retirement. For people born between 1943 and 1954, the full retirement age is 66 years old. The full retirement age is 67 years for those born in 1960 or later. The size of your monthly payment will be reduced if you start collecting the benefits early.
Recommended Reading: When Do I Have To Take Social Security
But Social Security Benefits Are Pretty Portable
All Social Security recipients are now required to accept their benefits electronically, which is quite a boon to retirees living abroad. This means you can either have your benefits directly deposited into a foreign bank account based in your new home, or you can have the money deposited into an American bank account that you have maintained while abroad.
Some countries require foreign residents to open a local bank account and have a regular direct deposit into that account. Social Security benefits offer an ideal method for fulfilling this obligation.
If you live in a country without such a requirement, you may choose to simply maintain your U.S. based bank, in part because many retirement destinations are all about paying in cash. Everyone from utility providers to grocers to dentists only accept cash, which makes maintaining your home bank much simpler. As long as you can withdraw funds from an ATM or banking office in your new home, there’s no need to set up a new bank account or have your Social Security benefits routed elsewhere.
Your Options: Working Applying For Retirement Benefits Or Both
Choosing when to start receiving your Social Security retirement benefits is an important decision. Theres no one choice that works for everyone because your lifestyle, finances, and goals are not the same as others.
Do you want to retire early, stay on the job, or work beyond retirement age?
Should you start receiving retirement benefits now, or wait until you can receive a higher benefit amount?
These are important questions youll need to answer as you plan for your retirement. Consider the four options below to help you make the best decision.
Read Also: Social Securyt
You Or Your Family Members May Be Eligible For Increased Benefits
Our mission is to deliver Social Security services that meet the changing needs of the public.
It’s not unusual for a benefit recipient’s circumstances to change after they apply or became eligible for benefits. If you, or a family member, receive Social Security or Supplemental Security Income , certain life changes may affect eligibility for an increase in your federal benefits. For example, if your spouse or ex-spouse dies, you may become eligible for a higher Social Security benefit.
To find out if you, or a family member, might be eligible for a benefit based on another persons work, or a higher benefit based on your own work, see the information about benefits on the Social Security website. You can also use the Benefit Eligibility Screening Tool to find out if you could get benefits that Social Security administers. Based on your answers to questions, this tool will list benefits for which you might be eligible and tell you more information about how to qualify and apply.
The questions and answers below are about a few of the life changes that could possibly increase your benefits.
How To Receive Benefits
You can apply for benefits by calling 800-772-1213 or by visiting your local Social Security office. The family must present the child’s birth certificate, the parents’ Social Security numbers , and the child’s Social Security number. Additional documents may also be required. In relevant cases, the applicant must provide a parent’s death certificate and/or evidence of disability from a doctor.
If you are taking care of a child and are receiving Social Security benefits for that reason, the child’s benefits may stop at a different time from your own. For example, if your child is not disabled, your benefits will end when the child turns 16 years old. If the child is disabled and you have responsibility for them, your benefits may continue. For these types of specific circumstances, its best to contact the Social Security Administration for guidance.
If your child is disabled, the Social Security Administration offers a Disability Starter Kit that can help you navigate the process of applying for benefits.
Recommended Reading: How Early Can You Get Social Security
How Long Do I Need To Have Been Married To Collect My Exs Benefits
Another common question people ask is How long do you have to be married to get spouse social security?You have to have been married for at least ten years before you can get social security benefits after divorce according to the Social Security Administration. Also, your divorce must be at least two years.
What Is The Future Of Social Security
Social Security is expected to run out of cash reserves in 2034, according to the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund, the retirement benefits account managed by the Social Security Administration.
However, this doesnt mean the program would be bankrupt and unable to pay out benefits. If Congress does nothing to reform the system by 2034, Social Security would still be able to pay 79 percent of promised benefits until 2090.
Social Security has run out of cash reserves before. Congress reformed the program in the 1980s by taxing benefits based on income levels and by gradually increasing the full retirement age from 65 to 67.
Also Check: Age For Maximum Social Security
C You Can Continue Working And Not Receive Your Retirement Benefits
If you decide to continue working and not start your benefits until after full retirement age, your benefits will increase for each month you do not receive them until you reach age 70. There is no incentive to delay filing for your benefits after age 70. Continuing to work may also increase your benefits, because your current earnings could replace an earlier year of lower or no earnings, which can result in a higher benefit amount.
If you are not receiving your Social Security benefits when you turn 65, you will need to apply for Original Medicare three months before you turn 65. If you dont sign up for Medicare Part B when youre first eligible at age 65, you may have to pay a late enrollment penalty for as long as you have Medicare coverage.
However, if you or your spouse are still working and covered under an employer-provided group health plan, talk to your personnel office before signing up for Medicare Part B. Once the covered employment ends, you may be eligible for a Special Enrollment Period to sign up for Part B. If so, you wont have to pay a late enrollment penalty.
You Can’t Take Medicare With You
Let’s start with the bad news: Medicare does not pay for any care you receive abroad. That’s because Medicare coverage is specific to American medical providers and does not cover service outside of the United States.
Many retirees living abroad may still choose to enroll in Medicare so that they can return to America in case of a serious medical issue. There are severe financial penalties for enrolling in Medicare after the initial enrollment period , which means it may be worth your while to enroll in Medicare if there is any possibility you will return to the U.S.
That being said, it’s quite possible that you will be eligible for low-cost, high-quality health care coverage in your adopted home. Many countries extend their health care services to foreign residents, and one of the potential benefits of retiring abroad is the possibility of cheaper and better health care.
Also Check: Social Sucurity
Divorced Know This Significant Exception To The Rule
When planning your Social Security filing strategy, its important to note that you cannot file for a spousal benefit until the higher earning spouse files for their benefit.
But this does not apply if your are filing for a spousal benefit from an ex-spouse.
If your ex-spouse has not applied for retirement benefits you can receive benefits on his or her record if you have been divorced for at least two years and your ex-spouse is at least 62.
Special Rules For People Who Are Blind Or Have Low Vision
We consider you to be legally blind under Social Security rules if your vision cannot be corrected to better than 20/200 in your better eye or if your visual field is 20 degrees or less, even with a corrective lens. Many people who meet the legal definition of blindness still have some sight and may be able to read large print and get around without a cane or a guide dog.
If you do not meet the legal definition of blindness, you may still qualify for disability benefits if your vision problems alone or combined with other health problems prevent you from working.
There are a number of special rules for people who are blind that recognize the severe impact of blindness on a person’s ability to work. For example, the monthly earnings limit for people who are blind is generally higher than the limit that applies to non-blind disabled workers.
In 2021, the monthly earnings limit is $2,190.
Recommended Reading: When Can You Take Social Security Benefit
How To Calculate Your Own Social Security Spousal Benefits
The spousal benefit calculation is straightforward if you dont have a benefit of your own. Remember, in that case, its between 32.5% and 50% of the higher-earning spouses full retirement age benefit, depending on your filing age.
However, it can seem a little more complicated if you have Social Security benefits from your work history.
And to keep things interesting, the Social Security Administration decided that a different calculation method should be used to determine how much each benefit should increase/decrease based on your filing age.
As complicated as Social Security benefits can seem, there is a way to correctly calculate how much your spousal benefit will be if you qualify to receive it.
Check out this section of my video that goes over this calculation step-by-step. VIDEO: How To Calculate Spousal Benefits The RIGHT Way
If you understand how they break down the individual benefits, its not hard to use the table above to quickly figure out what your approximate benefit will be. Heres an example.
Joe and Julie each have a Social Security benefit from work they individually performed. Julies benefit at her full retirement age is $800 per month. Joes benefit at his full retirement age is $2,000.
Assuming they are both full retirement age when they file, Joe will be entitled to a benefit of $2,000 and Julie will be entitled to the greater of her own benefit or half of Joes benefit.
Sounds simple, right?
Social Security Benefits For Surviving Spouses
If your spouse was receiving Social Security benefits upon their death, you must report the death as soon as possible. You can call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. on weekdays or visit your local Social Security office in person.
You are eligible for a one-time, lump-sum death benefit of $255 from Social Security if:
- You were receiving benefits on your spouses record at the time of death, or
- If you were living in the same household as your spouse at the time of death.
Any benefits received in the name of your spouse during the month of death or later must be returned to the Social Security Administration as soon as possible.
If your spouse worked long enough under Social Security, you may be eligible for Social Security benefits. You must be age 60 or older or disabled and 50 or older to qualify.
How much youll receive depends on the percentage of your spouses benefit as well as your age and the type of benefit youre eligible for.
You must apply for survivor benefits in person. You can call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 to request an appointment.
You May Like: Social Security Check Amount
Information Needed To Apply
The application process should not take long, but you’ll need to have certain information on hand to make sure it goes smoothly, including the following when applicable:
- Date and place of birth
- Names and birthdays of children who are disabled, unmarried, and/or 18 or younger, or 18 or 19 and attending school full-time
- U.S. military service information if applicable
- Employer or self-employment details for the current year and prior two years
- Bank direct-deposit information
The form will also ask about additional income and whether you have previously applied for SSI, other Social Security benefits, or Medicare.
If you’re married, your spouse may qualify for spousal benefits from Social Security as well. You’ll also need your spouse’s Social Security number, birth date, and other pertinent information when you apply. If your spouse signs up for Social Security benefits, he or she will have to provide the same information about you, too. If you are divorced, you may have to include your ex-spouse’s information.
How Social Security Approval Works
When you retire, a lot of questions cross your mind. The first question you should ask is when to claim social security benefits. See our article on When to Claim Social Security Benefits.
The next question after you decide to claim is: how long does it take to get my first social security check? It would be prudent to start by knowing how long it takes to apply for social security online. To your relief, the process will not take a lot of your time. Once your application is done and submitted, you will be wondering how long it takes to get social security approval.
Typically, it takes 6 weeks to process your application and for the benefits to start. However, it will take longer if you submit incorrect information. Also, the duration for approval will depend on the number of submissions the Social Security Administration will be processing at the time. Overall, the wait time is at least six weeks or longer depending on a number of factors.
You will need your social security number, birth certificate, and supporting financial documents when you apply. Tax return evidence and W-2 forms are also required for self-employed applicants.
For those not born in the USA, you should provide proof of citizenship. A certificate of citizenship or passport will be adequate. Also, marital information will be required.
Luckily, all these documents are not required at once when you apply. The SSA will send you notifications when they are required.
You May Like: What Is My Social Security Payout
How And When To Apply For Social Security Benefits
- B.S., Texas A& M University
Applying for Social Security benefits is the easy part. You can apply online, by telephone or by walking into your local Social Security office. The hard part is deciding when to apply for your Social Security retirement benefits and rounding up all the documents you’ll need when you do.
Get Ssa Benefits While Living Overseas
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: Ssa Gov Benefits
Selecting A Benefit Start Date
The application will also ask you what date you want your benefits to start. A benefits estimator is built into the application to help you decide.
The SSA pays out benefits the month after the start date you request. For example, if you indicate that you want your benefits to start in September, you’ll receive your first check in October.
Keep in mind that the amount on your benefit checks will depend on the age when you start collecting. The longer you can wait to start taking your payments, the more you will get each month. However, while you are not required to start receiving social security by age 70, your benefit will no longer increase by delaying the start date after that time.