Thursday, June 16, 2022

When Can I File For Social Security

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What Happens If You Claim After Your Fra

ð´Can I Apply For Social Security Retirement Benefits In Advance of Age 62

If you wait until your age 70 to start claiming benefits, then youll get an extra 8% per yearor, in total, 132% of your primary insurance amount for the rest of your life. Claiming after you turn 70 doesnt increase your benefits further, so theres no reason to wait longer than that.

The longer you can afford to wait after age 62 , the larger your monthly benefit will be. Nevertheless, delaying benefits doesnt necessarily mean that youll come out ahead overall. Other factors should be considered, including your expected longevity and whether you plan to file for spousal benefits. You should also consider the tax, investment opportunity, and health coverage implications.

Tax Considerations For Social Security Benefits

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, your Social Security benefits may be temporarily reduced. The reduction is $1 for every $2 of earned income over $18,960 in 2021 . During the year when you reach your FRA, your benefits will be reduced by $1 for every $3 in income over $50,520 in 2021 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.

Taking Social Security: How To Benefit By Waiting

For those who are able to do so, it may make sense to wait even longer, because youll receive a larger monthly benefit even more than your full benefit. Every month past your full retirement that you delay, Social Security will increase your check by about 0.7 percent per month.

If your full retirement age is 66, then heres how much your check would increase:

Retirement ageNew benefit A $1,000 check becomes
$1,320

So if your full retirement age is 66, then if you can wait two more years and claim benefits at age 68, youll increase your monthly check by 16 percent. In this case, if your full benefit were $1,000 a month, your new benefit would become $1,160 per month. And youll still receive cost of living adjustments on top of this amount, typically raising your payout a little each year.

Workers have other ways to grow their Social Security benefits, too, but its important to start early.

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Taxes On Your Benefits

Your Social Security benefits may be partially taxable if your combined income exceeds certain thresholds. Regardless of how much you make, the first 15% of your benefits are not taxed.

The SSA defines combined income using this formula:

  • Your adjusted gross income + nontaxable interest + half of your Social Security benefits = your combined income

If you file your federal tax return as an individual and your combined income is $25,000 to $34,000, then you may have to pay income tax on up to 50% of your benefits. If your combined income is more than $34,000, you may have to pay tax on up to 85% of your benefits.

If youre married, filing a joint return, and your combined income is $32,000 to $44,000, then you may have to pay income tax on up to 50% of your benefits. If your combined income is more than $44,000, you may have to pay tax on up to 85% of your benefits.

Apply For Retirement Benefits

Do I need to file a tax return if my only income is Social Security ...

Starting your Social Security retirement benefits is a major step on your retirement journey. This page will guide you through the process of applying for retirement benefits when youre ready to take that step. Our online application is a convenient way to apply on your own schedule, without an appointment. You can also apply by phone or by appointment at a Social Security office.

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You Want To Start A Business

Some people think of retirement as a time to relax, but you might see it as an opportunity to do things you couldnt do before, such as starting your own business. For example, you might have put off starting a business before because you were afraid you wouldnt be generating enough income. Social Security benefits could provide enough income to let you launch your business. And if your business is successful, the income it generates could be more than enough to offset the future reduction in benefits.

What Is Full Retirement Age

The size of your monthly Social Security benefit depends on a few factors, including how much you earned over the years, the year you were born, and the age when you start claimingdown to the month.

Youll receive your full monthly benefit if you start claiming when you reach what Social Security considers your full retirement age , sometimes also referred to as normal retirement age. FRA was 65 when Social Security began, but it has been raised to 67 for anyone born in 1960 or later. To find your FRA, see the chart below.

Finding Your Full Retirement Age
67

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Can I Qualify For Ssi While Collecting Social Security Retirement Benefits

While you cannot collect Social Security retirement and SSDI at the same time to increase your benefits beyond the full retirement amount, there is a program that may allow you to collect additional income.

SSI, which stands for Supplemental Security Income, is a Social Security program that helps seniors and those with a disability who have an extremely low income or limited assets. To qualify for SSI, you need to meet strict income qualifications and have only a minimum amount of resources. Resources, as the SSA defines the term, can be anything that can be turned into cash, such as:

  • Bank accounts, stocks, or U.S. savings bonds
  • Land

Should I Wait Until Full Retirement Age To Apply For Social Security

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Receiving Social Security at age 62 means that you will receive a reduced payment compared with waiting for full retirement age. For those born in 1960 or later, the reduction is 30%, and all reductions are permanent. If you delay taking your benefits past full retirement age, then you receive an 8% increase for each full year that you do so, up until you reach 70, at which point the increases stop.

Every individual can calculate their own full retirement age based on their specific birthday, to consider locking in the maximum amount of Social Security benefits.

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Why Waiting May Make Sense

Waiting until your FRA to apply for Social Security can increase the amount you receive in benefits each month. You will receive an 8% increase in your benefit payment for every year you delay receiving benefits. If you can put off receiving Social Security payments until age 70, that could add up to an almost 25% increase in the amount you receive each month.

Take some time to consider whether applying for Social Security benefits to begin at age 62 or at any age after that best helps you fund your retirement in the most practical way. The Social Security Administration can provide you with financial figures that will assist you in your decision-making process. Taking a hard look at the financial implications of retiring at various ages and at your personal situation will allow you to enjoy greater financial flexibility during your retirement years.

Increase For Delayed Retirement

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If you’ve already reached full retirement age, you can choose to start receiving benefits before the month you apply. However, we cannot pay retroactive benefits for any month before you reached full retirement age or more than six months in the past.

If you decide to delay your retirement, be sure to sign up for just Medicare at age 65.

If you do not sign up at age 65, in some circumstances your Medicare coverage may be delayed and cost more.

If you retire before age 70, some of your delayed retirement credits will not be applied until the January after you start receiving benefits.

For example, if you reach your full retirement age in June, you may plan to wait until your 69th birthday to start your retirement benefits. Your initial benefit amount will reflect delayed retirement credits earned from your full retirement age through the year before your 69th birthday. In January of the following calendar year, your benefit will increase for the credits earned in the year of your 69th birthday. Our Online Calculator gives you an estimate with all credits applied for comparison purposes.

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Children Can Also Collect Social Security Benefits

Minor children of Social Security beneficiaries can be eligible for benefits. Children up to age 18 and disabled children older than 18 may be able to receive up to half of a parent’s Social Security benefit. The disability must have occurred before the age of 22. The adult child can continue collecting the benefit even after the parent has died, as long as the disability prevents them from working.

Why It Makes Sense For The Higher Earner To Wait Longer To Collect

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David and Linda are married. David’s primary insurance amount at full retirement age is $1,600 Linda’s is $1,450. They both have an FRA of 67.

If they both wait until 68 to collect, which means their benefits will increase by 8%, David’s benefits will be $1,728 , and Linda’s will be $1,566 .

That extra $12 per month means an extra $144 per year, or $2,880 over 20 years.

In addition, the spouse who lives longer will continue to collect the higher payments.

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I Have Some Savings Should I Live On That Rather Than Claim Social Security Now

This is a very personal decision that depends greatly on your circumstances. Maintaining an emergency fund is always important, and never more so than during times of economic volatility. But people with very substantial savings can draw down safely to cover living expenses while delaying their claim.

The loss of earned income means you will be in a lower tax bracket, and rates are at historically low levels under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

Theres no better time to take money out of a 401 or I.R.A. than when your income is relatively low and you have a lower marginal tax rate, Mr. Finke said.

A delay of just a few years can be very beneficial. A 62-year-old with a full retirement age benefit of $1,500 would increase her likely lifetime benefits by more than $100,000 by waiting until that point to file, according to a projection by William Meyer, a co-founder of Social Security Solutions, which offers software aimed at helping retirees make optimal claiming decisions. Mr. Meyers calculation assumes that our retiree lives to 90 and that Social Securitys cost-of-living adjustment is 2 percent each year.

But the pandemic has added a new dimension to claiming decisions for most retirees, the retirement researcher Dirk Cotton said. Since most Americans have modest savings, if any, many of them will need to hang on to what they have.

Persistent bear market conditions also present an argument in favor of an early claim, Mr. Cotton added.

Early Benefits Can Still Pay Off

However, taking early benefits can still pay off despite the reduced monthly check. But youll want to be sure you budget for a reduced benefit.

No one can predict how long youll live, but if youre facing a potentially significant reduction in life expectancy and are short of income, taking Social Security early may be appropriate, Neiser says.

Married women are also good candidates for claiming early benefits because they are likely to outlive their husbands. Those widows then become eligible to receive the greater of either their benefit or their late husbands benefit.

However, this scenario works only if the husband does not claim his benefits early. By not claiming early benefits, the husband effectively increases the monthly benefit his wife eventually receives. So youll want to calculate how filing early will affect your spousal benefit here.

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Ask Larry: What Is The Best Month Of The Year To Start Social Security Benefits

    Economic Security Planning, Inc.

    Today’s column addresses questions about the best time to file, lump sum payments and benefit rates, earnings after 70, when public pensions affect benefits and calculating benefit amounts. Larry Kotlikoff is a Professor of Economics at Boston University and the founder and president of Economic Security Planning, Inc, a company that markets Maximize My Social Security and MaxiFi Planner.

    Ask Larry about Social Security here.

    What Is The Best Month Of The Year To Start Social Security Benefits?

    Hi Larry, I turned 66 in July and have not applied for my Social Security benefits. I’ve been told that it is critical to apply at a certain time of the year of the year to get the full benefit of the recalculation each year while I’m still working. I will work until 70, at my highest income level, which will make up for those lean years as they drop out of the calculations. What month of the year is the best time to begin Social Security? Thanks, Carl

    How Day Of Birth Affects Benefit Reduction

    Download Your “Social Security Statement” Prior to Filing for Disability

    Calculating how much your benefit will be reduced for early filing can also get a little tricky when trying to file as soon as you turn 62.

    Those born after the second day of the month wont be eligible for benefits until the following month, but the SSA still views your age as 62 and 1 month thus slightly increasing your benefit payment. Those born on the second day of the month are eligible in that month for an unreduced benefit.

    The weird part of the rule is for those who are born on the first of the month. Theyre deemed to have turned 62 on the last day of the prior month. Therefore, the Social Security Administration actually counts those people as 62 and 1 month in the month they attain age 62.

    Heres an example of three individuals to help make sense of these weird rules around and definitions of birthdays:

    Joe was born on June 1. Dan was born on June 2. Tom was born on June 3 They all had identical earnings and each has the same full retirement age benefit.

    With that full retirement age benefit being $2,000, heres when they would be eligible for their age 62 benefit and how it would be calculated.

    Joe, who was born on June 1, has an effective birthday of May 31. He would be entitled to benefits in June because of the rule that pushes his birthday to the previous month. The benefit would also be equal to the amount he could receive if he filed at 62 and 1 month.

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    The Basics Of Social Security

    First off, every eligible worker can begin receiving Social Security benefits at age 62, but you’ll get a reduced monthly payment if you don’t wait until you’re at full retirement age. Your monthly payment will depend a few things, including your income throughout your working years, how much you paid into the Social Security system and at what age you claim benefits. Benefits are adjusted yearly based on the cost of living.

    Full retirement age depends on the year you were born:

    • If you were born between 1943 and 1954, full retirement age is 66
    • If you were born between 1955 and 1959, full retirement age is between 66 and 67, depending on your birth year
    • If you were born after 1960, full retirement age is 67

    The Social Security website provides a calculator to help individuals understand how much their benefit will be reduced if they collect early. For example, if you were born in 1960 and wanted to collect as soon as you hit age 62, you’d receive 70% of your full retirement age payout. But if you waited until age 64 you’d get 80% of the full benefit.

    By delaying the receipt of your benefits past full retirement age, you’ll earn even more than the full benefit for every year after full retirement age and before you hit age 70, you’ll collect 8% more each year.

    • If you’re full retirement age is 66, you can earn up to 132% of your full benefit by waiting until you’re 70
    • If you’re full retirement age is 67, you can earn up to 124% of your full benefit by waiting until you’re 70

    You Can Claim Social Security Benefits Earned By Your Ex

    Just because you’re divorced doesn’t mean you’ve lost the ability to get a Social Security benefit based on your former spouse’s earnings. You can receive a benefit based on his or her record instead of a benefit based on your own work record if you were married at least 10 years, you are 62 or older, and you are single.

    Like a regular spousal benefit, you can get up to 50% of an ex-spouse’s benefit — less if you claim before full retirement age. And the beauty of it is that your ex never needs to know because you apply for the benefit directly through the Social Security Administration. Taking a benefit on your ex-spouse’s record has no effect on his or her benefit or the benefit of your ex’s new spouse. And unlike a regular spousal benefit, if your ex qualifies for benefits but has yet to apply, you can still start collecting Social Security based on the ex’s record, though you must have been divorced for at least two years.

    Note: Ex-spouses can also take a survivor benefit if their ex died after the divorce, and, like any survivor benefit, it will be worth up to 100% of what the ex-spouse received. If you remarry after age 60, you are still eligible for the survivor benefit.

    A claiming strategy if youre divorced: Exes at full retirement age who were born on January 1, 1954, or earlier can apply to restrict their application to a spousal benefit while letting their own benefit grow.

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