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Home / Business / If you cannot answer these three questions, you cannot archive for social security benefits – Motley Fool

If you cannot answer these three questions, you cannot archive for social security benefits – Motley Fool

Many older workers count down the days until they are able to register for social security schemes. If you approach the submission of benefits, you are probably eager to get your hands on the money you are entitled to. But before you do, make sure you answer these key questions.

1. What is my full retirement age?

Your social benefits are calculated from the 35 highest paid working years, but the age you first add to them will also affect the amount of money you receive each month. If you enter your full retirement age, or OFF, you get the exact monthly benefit your income statement entitles you to. Here's what age looks like, depending on your year of birth:

Year of Birth

Full Retirement Age





66 and 2 Months


] 66 and 4 months


66 and 6 months


66 and 8 months


66 and 10 months



Now you absolutely do not need to submit benefits at FRA. You are allowed to start collecting them as early as age 62 and as late as 70 years. (In fact, you're technically not required to archive at 70, but there is no financial incentive to delay past that point.) If you make the file at any time before FRA, You will, however, face a reduction in the benefits that remain in effect for the rest of your life unless you are able to withdraw your application within one year and repay the money you received in the benefits. On the other hand, if you delay the benefits past FRA, you will increase them by 8% a year up to 70 years.

  Rent older man in apron in kitchen kiosk.

PICTURE SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES. 19659024] Therefore, do not even consider signing up for Social Security until you know what FRA is. Otherwise, you do not understand the financial consequences of your decision.

2. Is the income statement correct?

Since social security is income-based, it is crucial that SSA has accurate information about your income history file. If it doesn't, you can end up losing income as a senior.

Imagine that you earned $ 80,000 in 2016, just for some reason, SSA shows no revenue for you that year. If so, the missing $ 80,000 may result in a lower monthly benefit. That is why you have to examine the income records annually and make sure they are correct. You can access them by creating an account on the SSA website if you do not receive them by mail, which will not happen if you are under 60. If you make spot errors, report them to the SSA and aim to get them corrected before your benefits begin.

3. Have I discussed archiving with my spouse?

If you are single, just consider your own needs when filing for social security schemes. But if you have a spouse to worry about, you need to think about how your decisions affect your life partner. For one thing, if your spouse did not work, he or she is entitled to spousal benefits that may amount to up to 50% of your benefits at full retirement age. Therefore, if you file early, you will not only reduce your own benefits, but your spouse is also. And it can be a problem if your spouse is much younger than you, or if you expect your spouse to survive in retirement.

Even though your spouse worked and is entitled to the benefits of his or her own, it pays to develop a common filing strategy that allows you to maximize the income of your social security benefits. Therefore, you need to sit down with your spouse and synchronize before signing up for benefits yourself.

Social security may end up providing a significant portion of retirement income, so it's important to get the most out of your benefits. Make sure you answer these important questions before filing to avoid losing money you can't afford to give up.

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