Monday, May 16, 2022

How To Determine Social Security Benefits

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When Will I Receive My Social Security Check

How to Calculate Your Social Security Benefits

The Social Security Administration’s payment calendar helps recipients plan for payments. If you were born in the first 10 days of your birth month, then you receive payments by the second Wednesday of the month. Those born on the 11-20 receive payments by the third Wednesday. Those born on the 21-31 receive payments by the fourth Wednesday. However, those who began receiving payments before May 1997 receive payments by the third day of each month.

How Much Your Payout May Increase

In 2021, the Social Security COLA was 1.3%, which included roughly 70 million Americans.

The 6.2% projected increase for next year comes after the allowance climbed to;4.7% in May;and;6.1% in July.

Based on the 1.3% figure, the average social security payout amounts to $1,543 a month for a total of $18,516.

At 6.2%, those receiving social security benefits could see an additional $95.67 a month.;

Meanwhile, those receiving the maximum benefit of $3,895 could get an extra $241.49 per month.

The SSA is set to;announce the next COLA in October. When the new COLA is set, it is slated to go into effect in January 2022.

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What Does Aarps Social Security Benefits Calculator Do

The calculator provides an estimate of your Social Security benefits, based on your earnings history and age. Our tool also helps you see what percentage of daily expenses your payments can cover, and how you can increase your benefits by waiting to collect. It can also tell you how your retirement earnings will be affected if you keep working after you claim your Social Security benefit.

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How Can I Increase My Monthly Retirement Benefits

If you can wait until after your full retirement age to collect benefits, your benefit amount will increase each month until you turn 70. These monthly raises, called “delayed retirement credits,” can boost your benefits by as much as 124% of your PIA if you have an FRA of 67 and you wait until age 70 to collect. Maximizing your Social Security benefits can help close a gap between the money youve saved and the income you want in retirement.

Percent of PIA collectable by Age3

Collect at Age 67

100%

Collect at Age 70 or Later

124%

*Assumes FRA of 67

Next Steps To Consider

How to Calculate Social Security Benefits: A Step

This information is intended to be educational and is not tailored to the investment needs of any specific investor.

Fidelity does not provide legal or tax advice. The information herein is general and educational in nature and should not be considered legal or tax advice. Tax laws and regulations are complex and subject to change, which can materially impact investment results. Fidelity cannot guarantee that the information herein is accurate, complete, or timely. Fidelity makes no warranties with regard to such information or results obtained by its use, and disclaims any liability arising out of your use of, or any tax position taken in reliance on, such information. Consult an attorney or tax professional regarding your specific situation.

Investing involves risk, including risk of loss.

Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC, Member NYSE, SIPC, 900 Salem Street, Smithfield, RI 02917

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Calculating Ssdi: Covered Earnings

If you are eligible for SSDI benefits, the amount you receive each month will be based on your average lifetime earnings before your disability began. This is the only factor that determines your benefit amount, although it may be reduced if you’re receiving disability payments from other sources . In other words, your SSDI benefit amount is not based on how severe your disability is, and unlike SSI, you cannot be denied SSDI because you have too much unearned income or too many resources .

Your past earnings must be covered under the Social Security program in order to count towards the amount of SSDI benefits you will receive. “Covered earnings” are wages you have received from jobs that have paid into Social Security. If you have received a paycheck that had money withheld for “Social Security taxes” or “FICA,” the wages you made at that job are covered earnings and will count toward calculating your benefit amount. Most wages are covered earnings.

Your SSDI payment will be based on your average covered earnings over a period of years, known as your average indexed monthly earnings . A formula is then applied to your AIME to calculate your primary insurance amount the basic figure the SSA uses in setting your actual benefit amount.

For example, someone in their fifties who made $100,000 for the past few years might expect a disability payment of $2,500 per month. Someone in their fifties who made $60,000 per year might expect a disability payment of $2,000 per month.

Are There Retirement Benefits For My Family Members

Once you start collecting Social Security, other family members may be entitled to collect benefits as well, based on your work history. If youve been married for at least one year, your spouse may be entitled to collect spousal benefits. Under certain conditions, your children may also be entitled to benefits.

There is a limit on the amount of benefits that family members receive on the earnings record of one worker. The limit varies between 150% and 188% of the workers PIA. If the total benefits owed to your spouse and children push your familys benefits above the limit, their benefits will be reduced proportionately to bring the total within the limit. Your benefits will not be affected. Any benefits payable to an ex-spouse arent included in the family maximum.

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How To Correct An Error On Your Social Security Statement

If you have evidence of your covered earnings in the year or years for which you think Social Security has made an error, call Social Security’s helpline at 800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. This is the line that takes all kinds of Social Security questions, and it is often swamped, so be patient. It is best to call early in the morning or late in the afternoon, late in the week, or late in the month. Have all your documents handy when you speak with a representative.

If you would rather speak with someone in person, call your local Social Security office and make an appointment to see someone there, or drop into the office during regular business hours. If you drop in, be prepared to wait, perhaps as long as an hour or two, before you get to see a representative. Bring with you two copies of your benefits statement and the evidence that supports your claim of higher income. That way, you can leave one copy with the Social Security worker. Write down the name of the person with whom you speak so that you can reach the same person when you follow up.

The process to correct errors is slow. It may take several months to have the changes made in your record. After Social Security confirms that it has corrected your record, request another benefits statement to make sure the correct information made it to your file.

How Do You Calculate Your Social Security Taxes

How To Calculate Social Security Benefits [3 Easy Steps]

“Social Security taxes” can refer to taxes paid into the Social Security system or taxes paid on Social Security benefits. The taxes that fund Social Security come from the payroll tax, which is 6.2% for employees or 12.4% for self-employed individuals.

When you’re receiving Social Security benefits, you’ll still have to pay income taxes, but you won’t owe taxes on all of your benefits. Those whose total annual income tops $34,000 will pay income tax on 85% of their Social Security benefits. Otherwise, they will pay income tax on 50% of their Social Security benefits.

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How To Understand Social Security Retirement Benefits

Social Security, managed by the U.S. federal government, pays benefits to retirees. Social Security benefits are one part of a broader;retirement plan. These benefits can supplement other sources of retirement income, such as 401s, individual retirement accounts or other retirement savings plans.

When Can I Start Collecting Social Security

The minimum age to claim benefits is 62. If you are turning 62 and need the income from Social Security to support yourself, then you can start claiming your benefits now. However, if you have enough other income to keep you going until you are older, then you may want to delay to increase the size of your monthly benefit.

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The Problem: The Economic Toll From The Pandemic Will Very Likely Affect Social Security Benefits

The initial retirement benefits that Social Security beneficiaries receive in the first year of retirement are determined by a formula that depends, in part, on the growth of average wages in the economy. Due to the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, the key measure of average wagesthe average wage index is very likely to decline in 2020. As a result, the initial retirement benefits for those who are first eligible to receive benefits in 2022when they reach the age of 62would be significantly less than what was anticipated only months ago, before the pandemic began to exact its economic toll. The effect is very likely to be so significant that workers turning 62 in 2022 would receive initial retirement benefits that are less than those of workers who were born a year earlier and who had essentially the same earnings history. This incongruity is what Social Security experts call a benefit notch. Such a notch would be unfair to the beneficiaries who turn 60 in 2020 and first become eligible to retire in 2022 because benefits are normally expected to grow for each successive cohort of retirees. Moreover, the benefit reduction and notch would have long-lasting consequences, as they not only would affect benefits in the first year of ones retirement but also lower them for every year going forward, as annual benefits are determined by adjusting the initial level for inflation.

How Should I Decide When To Take Benefits

Social Security Spousal Benefits: What You Need To Know

Consider the following factors as you decide when to take Social Security.

Your cash needs: If youre contemplating early retirement and you have sufficient resources , you can be flexible about when to take Social Security benefits.;;

If youll need your Social Security benefits to make ends meet, you may have fewer options. If possible, you may want to consider postponing retirement or work part-time until you reach your full retirement ageor even longer so that you can maximize your benefits.

Your life expectancy and break-even age: Taking Social Security early reduces your benefits, but youll also receive monthly checks for a longer period of time. On the other hand, taking Social Security later results in fewer checks during your lifetime, but the credit for waiting means each check will be larger.

At what age will you break even and begin to come out ahead if you delay Social Security? The break-even age depends on the amount of your benefits and the assumptions you use to account for taxes and the opportunity cost of waiting . The SSA has several handy calculators you can use to estimate your own benefits.

If you think youll beat the average life expectancy, then waiting for a larger monthly check might be a good deal. On the other hand, if youre in poor health or have reason to believe you wont beat the average life expectancy, you might decide to take what you can while you can.

A quick note about life expectancy;

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Spousal Benefit Reduction Due To Own Retirement Benefit

If you are receiving a retirement benefit of your own, your benefit as a spouse will be reduced by the greater of:

  • your PIA or
  • your monthly retirement benefit.
  • Example: In addition to receiving a benefit as Janes spouse, Bob is also receiving a retirement benefit of his own. Because he is entitled to a retirement benefit of his own, he will not receive the full spousal benefit . Instead, his spousal benefit will be reduced by the greater of a) his own PIA or b) his monthly retirement benefit.

    Calculating Your Combined Income

    Your combined income determines whether or not you owe taxes on your Social Security benefits. You can calculate yours by adding up:

  • Your nontaxable interest
  • Half of your annual Social Security benefits
  • Your AGI is your annual income minus certain tax deductions, like tax-deferred retirement contributions. Married couples filing jointly must consider both partners incomes and deductions. If you have municipal bonds or some tax-exempt savings bonds, you might also have nontaxable interest. Calculating half of your annual Social Security benefits is pretty straightforward. You can create a my Social Security account if youre not sure how much youre set to receive in benefits.;

    So someone with an AGI of $25,000 with $2,000 in nontaxable interest and $14,000 in annual Social Security benefits would have a combined income of $34,000 .;

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    How Does The Social Security Administration Calculate Benefits

    Benefits also depend on how much money youâve earned in life. The Social Security Administration takes your highest-earning 35 years of covered wages and averages them, indexing for inflation. They give you a big fat âzeroâ for each year you donât have earnings, so people who worked for fewer than 35 years may see lower benefits.

    The Social Security Administration also makes annual Cost of Living Adjustments, even as you collect benefits. That means the retirement income you collect from Social Security has built-in protection against inflation. For many people, Social Security is the only form of retirement income they have that is directly linked to inflation. Itâs a big perk that doesnât get a lot of attention.

    Tax Considerations For Social Security Benefits

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    How do these tax considerations affect when you should apply for Social Security benefits? At todays , they may not have much of an impact on most people. Still, tax rates and income thresholds can change, so its worth remembering that you will lose less of your Social Security to taxes if you are in a lower marginal tax bracket when you begin to collect.

    You should also note that if you decide to return to work, even part time, and arent yet at your FRA, then your Social Security benefits may be temporarily reduced. The reduction is $1 for every $2 of earned income over $18,960 . During the year when you reach your FRA, your benefits will be reduced by $1 for every $3 in income over $50,520 until the month when you become fully eligible. That money isnt lost, however. The SSA will credit it to your record when you reach your FRA, resulting in a higher benefit.

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    Beyond The Social Security Break

    As I mentioned before, calculating your Social Security break-even age can help you decide when to take your benefit, but I strongly suggest you consider other factors, including but not necessarily limited to the following:;

    • Your health status. Make sure to consider the cost to your heath as well as your checkbook. You may want to retire early due to health concerns, or you may need to continue to be employed in order to keep your health insurance.
    • Your life expectancy. There are several online tools that can help you estimate your life expectancy, including the one at Livingto100.com and Northwestern Mutuals calculator.
    • Your income needs. Do you still have a mortgage? Dependents? A business loan? Add up your expenses and be pragmatic about how much youll actually need.
    • Any plans for part-time or full-time work. Working after retirement can bring in extra cash and keep you involved in your community. But if you work after retiring early, be aware that Social Security has caps on the amount you can earn without having your benefits reduced.
    • Your other retirement resources. If you have a portfolio of investments, a pension, a 401 or other resources to rely on in retirement, that could change the equation for you. If youre set up well financially, congratulations! You may be able to retire early. If you havent been so lucky, consider waiting so you can grow your Social Security benefits, and feel more comfortable about when you do retire.

    Do You Expect To Live A Long Life

    Many people live longer than they expect.

    Because Social Security provides guaranteed income for life, it’s especially valuable to you when you reach age 80 and beyond. Claiming benefits at your full Social Security benefit age or later could be a good way to secure your monthly income during your later years. Your benefit increases the longer you wait to claim, up to age 70, and is adjusted annually with the cost of living. If you live into your 80s but claim at age 62 instead of your full retirement age or later, your total lifetime benefits will be lower by thousands of dollars.Calculate your expected longevity.

    Claiming at your full benefit age could still make sense for you.

    We understand it’s difficult to make predictions. You may want to plan for the possibility that you may spend 20 or more years in retirement. On average, a woman reaching age 65 today will live to age 87, and a man will live to age 84. Waiting to claim as long as you can could still make sense for you if you are married, are the higher earner in the household, and want your surviving spouse to keep the highest monthly benefit after you die. Remember, you can claim at any point between age 62 and 70. Each additional month that you wait to claim gives you a permanent increase in your monthly benefit which becomes more valuable as you age.Calculate your longevity.

    There’s a good chance that you’ll live into your 80s and beyond.

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