Before You Make Your Decision
There are advantages and disadvantages to taking your benefit before your full retirement age. The advantage is that you collect benefits for a longer period of time. The disadvantage is your benefit will be reduced. Each person’s situation is different. It is important to remember:
- If you delay your benefits until after full retirement age, you will be eligible for delayed retirement credits that would increase your monthly benefit.
- That there are other things to consider when making the decision about when to begin receiving your retirement benefits.
Claiming Social Security After Your Full Retirement Age Increases Benefits
You can also wait as late as age 70 to start collecting Social Security benefits. Doing so boosts your retirement benefits. Theres no incentive to wait after age 70 to claim Social Security.
Heres how your benefit will increase if you wait to claim Social Security:
- If you delay claiming until age 68, your benefit will increase by 8%
- If you delay claiming until age 69, your benefit will increase by 16%
- If you delay claiming Social Security until age 70, your benefit will increase by 24%
Using this example, if you were eligible for a Social Security retirement benefit of $1,000 per month at your full retirement age of 67, the benefit would increase to $1,080 if you delay claiming until age 68 $1,160 if you delay to age 69 and $1,240 if you delay to age 70.
Once again, the delayed retirement credits accrue monthly, not annually, so every month you wait beyond age 67 will net you a slightly bigger monthly check from Social Security.
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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How Much In Benefits Am I Entitled To From My Ex
There are several factors that determine exactly how much of an ex-spouse benefit you will receive, but in general, at full retirement age, you will receive one-half of your former spouses retirement benefit assuming you meet all criteria.
If your former spouse is deceased, you will receive his or her full retirement benefit.
Social Security is gender-neutral.
Benefits criteria apply to ex-husbands as well as ex-wives.
When an ex-spouse collects benefits on a former spouses record, Social Security does not notify the ex-spouse that this is taking place.
Some of the factors that will impact how much you receive include:
- Have you reached your full retirement age yet? If you take benefits before your full retirement age, the amount you receive will be reduced. The age for full retirement gradually increases from 65 to 67 years old depending on the year you were born.
- If you are raising children you had with your ex-spouse and he or she passes away, you may receive benefits for their care until they are age 16. After that, they may receive benefits based on your ex-spouses work record until they are 18 or 19, and still in high school full-time. Older children may receive benefits if they are disabled.
If your ex-spouse has remarried and that new spouse is collecting benefits based on his or her work record, it will not reduce the amount of benefits the new spouse or you receive.
Benefit Amounts Vary Depending On Your Social Security Retirement Age
Your Social Security retirement age and the amount you receive varies depending on several factors. For example, the earliest age you can collect your Social Security retirement benefits is 62, but there is an exception for widows and widowers, who can begin benefits as early as 60. If you start collecting benefits early and continue to work, your benefits may be reduced.
Here’s how this works with the basics on Social Security claiming ages from 60 to 70.
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Bridge To Medicare At Age 65
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
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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How Are My Social Security Benefit Amounts Calculated
The calculations are complicated. The amount of any benefit is determined by a formula based on the average of your yearly reported earnings since you began working.
But to complicate matters further, Social Security computes your average earnings differently depending on your age. If you reached age 62 or became disabled on or before December 31, 1978, Social Security averages the actual dollar value of your total past earnings — and bases the amount of your monthly benefits on that amount.
If you turned 62 or become disabled on or after January 1, 1979, Social Security divides your earnings into two categories: Earnings from before 1951 are credited with their actual dollar amount, up to a maximum of $3,000 per year and from 1951 on, yearly limits are placed on earnings credits, no matter how much you actually earned in those years.
How Should I Decide When To Take Benefits
Consider the following factors as you decide when to take Social Security.
Your cash needs: If you’re contemplating early retirement and you have sufficient resources , you can be flexible about when to take Social Security benefits.
If you’ll 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 you’ll 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 you’ll beat the average life expectancy, then waiting for a larger monthly check might be a good deal. On the other hand, if you’re in poor health or have reason to believe you won’t 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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How Will Working Affect Social Security Benefits
In a recent survey, 68% of current workers stated they plan to work for pay after retiring.1
And that possibility raises an interesting question: how will working affect Social Security benefits?
The answer to that question requires an understanding of three key concepts: full retirement age, the earnings test, and taxable benefits.
Can My Foreign Spouse Collect Social Security Benefits
Understanding how your future retirement planning might affect your spouse is important. For Americans married to non-U.S. citizens or residents, there are many instances where a foreign spouse may not be able to claim Social Security benefits depending on varying qualification regulations from a U.S. standpoint and from a foreign country-specific point-of-view.
In general, 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 up to 50% of your spouses Social Security benefit . The allowed Social Security retirement benefit for a spouse starts at 32.5% at age 62 and gradually increases to 50% of the amount that their spouse is eligible to receive at normal or full retirement age, which is 66 or 67 depending on their birth year.
However, if you are a U.S. citizen married to someone who is neither a citizen nor a resident of the United States, different rules apply depending on your age, the country of your residency and where you choose to live.
According to Greenback Tax Services, there are countries that the U.S. has Social Security agreements with and other nations that have benefit payment restrictions placed upon them.
To be able to receive Social Security benefits as a foreign spouse:
- You must have worked and contributed to Social Security for at least 10 years.
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At What Age Does Social Security Disability Stop
Depending on when you were born, your retirement age will be between 65 and 67. Your retirement age is the age when Social Security Disability stops. Once these disability benefits stop, they then get converted into Social Security retirement income.
Generally speaking, the Social Security Administration does not provide disability income and retirement income to the same person at the same time. This applies if your benefits do not stop for other reasons, such as earning a certain amount of income or recovering from your disability.
What Happens If The Deceased Received Monthly Benefits
If the deceased was already receiving Social Security benefits, the surviving spouse is eligible to collect 100% of the benefits as long as they are at least 60 and they were married to the deceased for at least nine months. There are exceptions:
- If the deceased died in an accident or died in the line of U.S. Military duty, theres no length of marriage requirement.
- You can apply for your deceased spouses benefits as early as age 50 if you are disabled and the disability occurred within seven years of the spouses death.
- If there are disabled children from the marriage, or if there are children under the age of 16, you can apply at any age.
You need to report the death as soon as possible, although sometimes the funeral home will do that for you. Just give them the deceaseds Social Security number.
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How Much Money Can A 62 Year Old Retire With
For example, a 62-year-old retiring this year could receive a maximum monthly benefit of $1,992, but a 70-year-old retiring this year could receive $3,425 a month. If Mr. and Mrs. C. can max out their retirement savings options, they could have more than $250,000 set aside for retirement by the time Mr. C turns 70.
Social Security Benefits If Youre Married
Determining Social Security calculations is a bit more complicated if you are married because you have the option to base benefits on your spouses salary history.
If the lesser earning spouses benefits are based on the higher earning spouses, then the limit of those earnings will be 50 percent of the higher earning spouses benefit amount.
To illustrate this, lets talk about A and B, a married couple.
- A makes significantly more money than B.
- A makes so much more money that As monthly Social Security benefits are going to be more than twice of Bs, based on Bs salary history.
- The good news for B is that they can choose to have their Social Security benefits based on As salary history and can receive as much as 50 percent of As monthly benefit. This is the case even if B didnt hold a job outside the home.
On the other hand, if Bs monthly benefit would have been more than half of As, based on Bs salary history, then B can claim that amount.
In short, B can claim the higher of these two possibilities: Bs own Social Security earnings or half of As.
This all assumes that B doesnt begin claiming benefits until B reaches full retirement age. If B begins claiming earlier, then Bs benefits will be less. In addition, if B is claiming benefits based on As earnings, then B does not benefit by waiting later than full retirement age.
B will not be given more monthly benefits if B waits until age 70, for example, based on As earnings.
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No More File And Suspend
Note that the claiming strategy called file and suspend, which allowed married couples who have reached their FRA to receive spousal benefits and delayed retirement credits at the same time, ended as of May 1, 2016. However, spouses born before Jan. 2, 1954, who have attained their FRA may still be able to file a restricted application. It allows them to claim spousal benefits while delaying their own benefits up to age 70.
Social Security benefits can be taxable if your combined income is high enough.
Will I Be Able To Collect Social Security
I receive a state of Illinois pension and am eligible for federal pension July 2021 when I turn 62. How is my social security? I have 14 credible years with SSN.
If you have at least 40 calendar quarters of Social Security credits, you’ll be eligible for Social Security retirement benefits as early as age 62. However, if you’re also receiving a pension based on your work and earnings that weren’t subject to Social Security taxes, your Social Security retirement benefit rate will almost certainly be reduced due to the Windfall Elimination Provision . WEP can cause a person’s Social Security retirement benefit to be calculated using an alternate, less generous, computation formula than the normal formula that’s used to calculate retirement benefit rates .
Our software is fully programmed to handle benefit computations involving the WEP provision, so you may want to strongly consider using the software to calculate your projected benefit rate and analyze the filing options so that you can determine the best strategy for maximizing your benefits.
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When A Spouse Dies
When one spouse dies, the surviving spouse is entitled to receive the higher of their own benefit or their deceased spouses benefit. Thats why financial planners often advise the higher-earning spouse to delay claiming. If the higher-earning spouse dies first, then the surviving, lower-earning spouse will receive a larger Social Security check for life.
When the surviving spouse hasnt reached their FRA, they will be entitled to prorated amounts starting at age 60. Once at their FRA, the surviving spouse is entitled to 100% of the deceased spouses benefit or their own benefit, whichever is higher.
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 1955 and your full retirement age is 66 and 2 months. If you started your benefits at age 68, you would receive a credit of 8% per year multiplied by approximately two . This makes your benefit ~15% 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 it’s important to consider your personal circumstancesit’s not always possible to wait, particularly if you are in poor health or can’t 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.
Effect of late retirement on benefits
1.Represents Full Retirement Age based on DOB Jan. 2, 1955
2.PIA = The primary insurance amount is the basis for benefits that are paid to an individual
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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