Benefits May Be Taxable
You will have to pay taxes on your benefits if you file a federal tax return as an individual and your total income is more than $25,000. If you file a joint return and you and your spouse make more than $32,000 jointly, you will have to pay taxes on your benefits. For more information, call the InternalRevenue Service at 800-829-3676.
Age : Wait And Accumulate Delayed Retirement Credits
At 70, you will get the maximum amount of benefits that you can get from Social Security. It does not make sense to delay your Social Security retirement age past 70 because your benefit amount will not increase. Waiting until 70 to begin your Social Security if you are married and are the higher earner results in a higher survivor benefit for your spouse.
How Much Will I Get
Your Social Security benefits are based on your lifetime earnings. The formula is a little complicated, but it averages the income from your 35 highest-earning years. If you have already accumulated 40 Social Security credits, then you can use the online Social Security Retirement Estimator to get a rough idea of what you will get.
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Whats Full Retirement Age
Full retirement age is when youre eligible to receive full Social Security benefits. Your full retirement age depends on your birth year: Under current law, if you were born in 1951 or later, your full retirement age is now some point after age 65all the way up to age 67 for those born after 1959. If you were born before 1951, youve already reached age 66 and full retirement age.
Retirement ages for full Social Security benefits
If you were born in
Your full retirement age is
1950 or earlier
Can I Receive My Pension Outside Canada
Yes. Usually, we can send your pension payment outside the country if you:
- lived in Canada for at least 20 years after turning age 18
- lived or worked in a country that has a social security agreement in force with Canada and you meet the 20 year residence requirement under the provisions of that agreement
If you do not meet either of the above requirements, we can only send your pension payments outside Canada for the month you left and for six months after that.
Example: If you left Canada in January, we would send your payments until the end of July. After July, the payments would stop.
If you return to Canada after being away for more than six months, every additional year in Canada will be counted in order for you to reach your 20 years of residence to receive your OAS pension outside the country.
If you plan to be absent from Canada for more than six months, you must call us. You should also let us know when you return to Canada so that we can restart your pension payments, beginning the month you return. It is important to let Service Canada know this information to ensure that you receive the amount you are entitled to, and also to avoid potential penalties and having to repay any amount that you were not entitled to receive.
Who Should Delay Benefits
If you are married and the higher wage earner, it generally makes sense for you to wait as long as possible to claim.
One reason for that is Social Security payments are based on mortality tables that have not been updated since 1983. And life expectancies have increased since that time.
People are living longer than they would have been expected to back in 1983, and therefore the credits that you get for delaying Social Security are worth more to you than they would be if they were actuarially fair, Jones said.
Holding off until age 70 makes sense particularly for the higher earner of a married couple because their benefits will in turn determine spousal and survivor benefits for their significant other.
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Can I Get Social Security If I Work
Yes, you can receive Social Security benefits while you are still working. If youve reached full retirement age, you can work and earn as much as youd like and receive full benefits. If youre under full retirement age, your benefits will be reduced temporarily. The money is not lost, however. Social Security will credit it to your record when you reach full retirement age, resulting in a higher benefit.
The reduction is $1 for every $2 of earned income over $18,960 in 2021 for those younger than full retirement age. During the year when you reach full retirement age, your benefits will be reduced by $1 for every $3 in income over $50,520 in 2021. That continues until the month when you become fully eligible.
Retirees can contribute to individual retirement accounts as long as they have earned income. However, Social Security benefits are not considered earned income for this purpose.
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How Do I Apply For Benefits
You can apply at a local Social Security office, by phone , or online. Youll need to provide certain information and possibly some documents, such as a birth certificate. Social Security Form SSA-1 has a complete list.
The Social Security Administration says you can apply up to four months before the date you want your benefits to start.
Financial Benefits Of Working Longer
Many people want to retire as soon as it is financially feasible to do so, but it’s crucial to consider the earning and investing power you may give up if you stop working full-time and take Social Security at 62. If you leave a job with good pay and benefits, it may be difficult ever to regain that level of compensation if you need or want to return to work later. Of course, not everyone can keep working, but it is something to consider if you are healthy and have the opportunity to stay in the workforce, in either a full-time or part-time capacity.
The compensation benefits of your job could also affect your Social Security. Some companies allow stock awards to continue to vest after retirement date, and even into years to follow. These payouts are considered income, and could cause your Social Security payment to be taxed, or taxed at a higher level than in years after the awards have fully distributed. Delaying Social Security payments until those other income sources have been reported for tax purposes is worth consideration.
But there’s even more to the story. As you approach retirement, you’re often at the upper end of your lifetime earnings trajectoryand of your ability to save more for retirement. In addition, if you can keep working, you can make “catch-up” contributions to a tax-deferred workplace savings plan like a 401 or 403 or a traditional or Roth IRA. Catch-up contributions allow you to set aside larger amounts of money for retirement.
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What Documents Will I Need To Provide
If you were not born in Canada, you must prove your legal status in Canada with your citizenship or immigration documents. If you have not lived continuously in Canada after turning age 18, you must submit proof of all the dates you arrived in or left Canada for periods of over six months. You can do this by providing your passports, visas, airline, ship, and bus tickets, and other documents that prove your residence history in Canada.
When official documents are not available, you may submit other documents such as school and census records, letters from employers, and contracts . Contact us for more examples of acceptable proof.
If you no longer have your original immigration documents, Service Canada may be able to obtain information from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada on your behalf. To do so, you must complete, sign and return the Consent to Exchange Information with Citizenship and Immigration Canada with your OAS application.
If you have already provided these documents to us, you do not have to provide them again.
The application kit contains more details about these requirements.
What If I Delay Taking My Benefits
If you retire sometime between your full retirement age and age 70, you typically earn a “delayed retirement” credit . For example, say you were born in 1951 and your full retirement age is 66. If you started your benefits at age 68, you would receive a credit of 8% per year multiplied by two . This makes your benefit 16% higher than the amount you would have received at age 66. .
That higher baseline lasts for the rest of your retirement, and serves as the basis for future increases linked to inflation. While its important to consider your personal circumstancesits not always possible to wait, particularly if you are in poor health or cant afford to delaythe benefits of waiting can be significant.
If you decide to wait past age 65, you may still need to sign up for Medicare. In some circumstancesyour Medicare coverage may be delayed and cost more if you do not sign up at age 65.
To review your situation, your annual Social Security statement will list your projected benefits at age 62, full retirement age, and age 70, assuming you continue to work and earn about the same amount until age 62, full retirement age, or age 70 before retiring. If you need a copy of your annual statement, you can request one from the Social Security Administration .
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Understanding The Full Retirement Age
Social Security uses full retirement age to calculate 100 percent of your benefit amount. For individuals born in 1942 or earlier, full retirement age is 65. Individuals born from 1943 to 1954 reach full retirement age at 66.
Persons born after 1960 reach full retirement age at 67, and a birth date between 1955 and 1959 increases the full retirement age two months for every year. An individual born in 1955 reaches full retirement age at 66 years and 2 months 1956 is 66 years and 4 months.
Timing And Your Health Coverage
Your health insurance coverage can also play a role in deciding when to claim Social Security benefits. Do you have a health savings account to which you would like to keep contributing? If so, note that if youre age 65 or older, then receiving Social Security benefits requires you to sign up for Medicare Part A, and once you sign up for Medicare Part A, youll no longer be allowed to add funds to your HSA.
The SSA also cautions that even if you delay receiving Social Security benefits until after age 65, you might still need to apply for Medicare benefits within three months of turning 65 to avoid paying higher premiums for life for Medicare Part B and Part D. If you are still receiving health insurance from your or your spouses employer, however, then you might not yet have to enroll in Medicare.
On March 17, 2020, all Social Security offices were closed completely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As of Aug. 5, 2021, they are only open by appointment, and to get an appointment, you need to be in a limited, critical situation. Most people will have to transact their business online, by phone, or through the mail.
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Do Survivor Benefits Increase After Full Retirement Age
If you are the surviving spouse who is claiming benefits based on your deceased partner’s work record, there is no benefit to waiting until after FRA to claim your benefits. You do not earn delayed retirement credits, so your benefit will not increase.
However, if you are the higher-earning spouse, delaying your claim for benefits until after FRA can result in your widow receiving more monthly income, as your widowed partner will receive the higher of the two monthly benefits you were each receiving.
Social Security Retirement Age : If You Are A Widow/widower
If you are a widow or widower, you can receive Social Security retirement benefits as early as 60. If you have not reached your full retirement age, and you are still working and earn more than the earnings limit, your benefits will be reduced. Once you reach full retirement age, no more reductions will apply, regardless of how much you work and earn. Those working will want to consider waiting until their full retirement age to begin widow/widower benefits.
One option available to widows/widowers is to file a restricted application, which means you can begin one type of benefit, such as a survivor benefit then when you reach 70, you can switch over to your retirement benefit amount if it would be larger.
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What About Taxes On Social Security
Keep in mind that Social Security benefits may be taxable, depending on your combined income. Your combined income is equal to your adjusted gross income , plus non-taxable interest payments , plus half of your Social Security benefit.
As your combined income increases above a certain threshold , more of your benefit is subject to income tax, up to a maximum of 85%. For help, talk with a CPA or tax professional.
In any case, if youre still working, you may want to postpone Social Security either until you reach your full retirement age or until your earned income is less than the annual limit. In no situation should you postpone benefits past age 70.
Working While Receiving Benefits
You may work after you start receiving benefits, which could mean a higher benefit for you in the future. We may withhold some of your benefits if you earn more than the yearly earnings limit. Sometimes people who retire in mid-year already have earned more than the annual earnings limit. However:
- We have a special rule that applies to earnings for one year, usually the first year you begin receiving benefits. This means we cannot withhold benefits for any month we consider you retired, regardless of your yearly earnings.
- After you reach full retirement age, we will recalculate your benefit amount to take into account any months you did not receive benefits because your earnings were too high.
If You Receive Social Security Benefits And Work
The work limit for these earnings are $1,310 a month or $15,720 a year. If you collect Social Security before your full retirement age of 66 or 67, your benefits will be reduced by $1 for ever $2 that you make over that limit.
In the year that you reach your full retirement age, your benefit will be reduced by $1 for ever $3 made above that limit.
Note: For retirees that make high income, the benefits that you receive will be taxed but this is a separate issue from a direct reduction of your benefits.
How Much Can I Earn If I Work After My Full Retirement Age
If you continue to work after reaching full retirement age, you may work and earn as much as you’d like. You will not be subject to the retirement earnings test, and your Social Security benefits will not be affected.
If you work prior to FRA, you may forfeit part of your benefits if you earn above annual thresholds. However, your benefit amount will be recalculated at full retirement age to account for most of those forfeited funds.
Workers Who Die Before Age 62
The minimum age to start claiming Social Security retirement benefits is 62. If someone dies young, then dependent children and spouses may be entitled to survivor benefits. At age 60, for example, widows and widowers can begin receiving Social Security benefits based on their deceased spouses earnings record . Terminally ill patients can apply for Social Security Disability Insurance , which means they will still receive some benefit from their contributions to the system.
What if you are terminally ill and have reached the minimum retirement age? If you are single, claiming right away may be the most sensible strategy. However, if you have a spouse, postponing may provide your spouse with greater benefits. The spousal benefit can be as much as 50% of the worker’s benefit, depending on the spouse’s age at retirement and if the spouse is eligible for retirement benefits based on their own earnings record. The Social Security Administration has an online calculator that helps determine benefits for spouses.
If you do not qualify for Social Security payments, then you will need to ensure that you have sufficient income to support your lifestyle in retirement.
Social Security Spousal Benefits
Social Security is a vital source of retirement income for most women. For this reason, it is important to understand how the spousal benefit works and how it can impact the amount of Social Security income you receive.
As a spouse, you can claim a Social Security benefit based on your own earnings record, or collect a spousal benefit in the amount of 50% of your spouses Social Security benefit, but not both. You are automatically entitled to receive whichever benefit provides you the higher monthly amount. In order to qualify for Social Security spousal benefits, you must be at least 62 years old and your spouse must also be collecting his or her own benefits. Additionally, if you are the higher earner, your spouse can apply to collect spousal benefits based on your work record. It is important to note that claiming a spousal benefit does not impact the benefit amount received by the worker whose earning record is being used.
Taking Benefits Early
- At age 65, you would receive 45.8% of your spouses benefit.
- At age 64, you would receive 41.7% of your spouses benefit.
- At age 63, you would receive 37.5% of your spouses benefit.
- At age 62, you would receive 35% of your spouses benefit.
Recent Changes to Claiming Strategies that Affect Spousal Benefits
Applying for Benefits
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