Social Security is the largest public benefits program in the United States, paying money to more than 59 million beneficiaries every year. It’s also one of the most complicated. So it helps to know how the system works. A good article at www.mysanantonio.com covers 5 rules about Social Security retirement benefits every retiree should know:
How to Qualify. You must have 40 retirement credits, which equals 10 years of employment, to qualify for retirement benefits. The years spent working do not have to be consecutive, but a failure to earn the 40 credits will keep you from collecting. Even if you were out of the workforce for a while, you may still qualify for benefits.
When to Claim. You may begin taking your retirement benefits between the ages of 62 and 70, but the age you may receive a full retirement benefit will vary between age 66 and 67 (full retirement age), depending on your birth date. Your monthly benefit will be less if you elect to begin taking it before your full retirement age. Your monthly benefit will increase every year that you delay claiming beyond full retirement age.
Working During Retirement. Social Security will be the main source of income for many retirees, but it may not be enough to cover all of one’s monthly living expenses. For many retirees, working at least part-time in retirement is a necessity. If you take your benefits before full retirement age, but still work, you may face a reduction in your monthly benefit if you earn more than the applicable income limits. Once you reach full retirement age, you can earn as much as you like without a corresponding benefit reduction.
Benefit Maximum. The most a person can receive monthly in Social Security benefits this year is approximately $3,500, but only if the recipient qualified for the maximum benefit at full retirement age and then waited until age 70 to begin collecting.
Benefits Are Taxable. Depending upon your combined income from all sources, up to 85% of your Social Security benefits may be subject to income tax. And it doesn’t take a lot of income to get to that point.
If you are nearing retirement age and thinking about applying for your Social Security benefits, or are already receiving them, this article contains good information you need to know. Click this link to read the entire article.