Social Security can be obscure and confusing. If you have ever tried to read through the countless pages of obfuscating text, then you would most certainly agree. But, thanks to some helpful breakdowns, such as those which will be offered here, there are some Social Security tips that we can all take with us, including the following must-know six ones.
No. 1: Your birth year dictates your full retirement age that you can receive Social Security benefits. For example, for those who were born between the years 1943 and 1954, their full retirement age is actually 66. But for those who were born after 1960, the retirement age is actually 67.
No. 2: You get more if you wait to start accepting benefits. If you wait to get your benefits until after you are 62, but before you are 70, your benefits can increase because of something that is called delayed retirement credits. These can boost your benefits by as much as 8% per year, but they do cap out at a maximum of 32%. After age 70, however, there are no delayed benefits.
No. 3: You can still work and you can still collect your benefits. You won’t the full amount and you will have to take the earnings test. Basically, for every $2 that you earn per year, the benefits that you are allotted are decreased by $1 until you stop working and rely on just your benefits.
No. 4: Non-citizens can still receive benefits. If a resident alien pays into this pay-as-you-go system, they can still get benefits once they reach the qualifying age. They do have to have a social security number and meet certain immigration requirements, though.
No. 5: There’s only one income paid out if you or your spouse passes away. But, the good news here is that whatever benefit payout is the highest will be the one that you get.
No. 6: Benefits are based upon your working years. For each year that you do not work, your aggregate payout amount is averaged. So if you worked 20 years for benefits, you’d receive what you paid in divided by a 35-year working period. Only the years you made the highest income are included to help you get a bigger check with each payout option.