How Much Will Your Retirement Benefit Be
Your retirement benefit is based on your average earnings over your working career. Higher lifetime earnings result in higher benefits, so if you have some years of no earnings or low earnings, your benefit amount may be lower than if you had worked steadily. Your age at the time you start receiving benefits also affects your benefit amount. Although you can retire early at age 62, the longer you wait to retire , the higher your retirement benefit.
You can find out more about future Social Security benefits by signing up for a my Social Security account at the Social Security website, ssa.gov, so that you can view your online Social Security Statement. Your statement contains a detailed record of your earnings, as well as estimates of retirement, survivor, and disability benefits. If you’re not registered for an online account and are not yet receiving benefits, you’ll receive a statement in the mail every year, starting at age 60. You can also use the Retirement Estimator calculator on the Social Security website, as well as other benefit calculators that can help you estimate disability and survivor benefits.
How Will My Retirement Benefits Be Taxed
Approximately one-third of people who collect Social Security benefits are required to pay income taxes on these benefits. Individuals with higher total incomes must include up to 85% of their benefits as income for federal income tax purposes, designated by special step-rate thresholds. However, the taxation thresholds for your benefits arent currently indexed for inflation.
Who Can File For Social Security Spousal Benefits
To be eligible for spousal benefits, you must be married, divorced or widowed, and your spouse either is or was eligible for Social Security.
The spouse must be at least 62 years old or have a qualifying child a child who is under age 16 or who receives Social Security disability benefits in his or her care.
Both opposite-sex and same-sex married couples are eligible for Social Security spousal and dependent benefits. So are some individuals in legal relationships such as civil unions and domestic partnerships. And those who were married for at least 10 years and have been divorced for at least two years also can apply.
Spouses can claim benefits based on their own work history or their spouses work history. They will automatically collect whichever amount is larger, but not both.
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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.
Questions And Answers About The Third
These updated FAQs were released to the public in Fact Sheet 2022-22 PDF, March 25, 2022.
If you didn’t receive, or get the full amount of, the third-round Economic Impact Payment, you may be eligible to claim the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit and must file a 2021 tax return even if you don’t usually file taxes to claim it. Your 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit will reduce any tax you owe for 2021 or be included in your tax refund.
If your income is $73,000 or less, you can file your federal tax return electronically for free through the IRS Free File Program. The fastest and most secure way to get your tax refund is to file electronically and have it direct deposited, contactless and free, into your financial account. You can have your refund direct deposited into your bank account, prepaid debit card, or mobile app, and will need to provide routing and account numbers.
If you didn’t get the full amounts of the first and second Economic Impact Payments, you may be eligible to claim the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit and must file a 2020 tax return even if you don’t usually file taxes to claim it. DO NOT include any information regarding the first and second Economic Impact Payments or the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit on your 2021 return.
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Eligibility Requirements And When To Place Your Claim
If in your lifetime you have worked for ten years, you are eligible to place a claim to begin receiving Social Security benefits as early as age 62 and as late as age 70. Deciding when is best for you is a personal decision.
Social Security benefits are generally lower the earlier you place your claim. The initial payment will set the standard for ongoing payments, though you typically will receive cost of living increases from year-to-year. Social Security benefits continue until death.
Retiring At Full Retirement Age
Your full retirement age depends on the year in which you were born.
If you were born in:
Your full retirement age is:
1960 and later
If you were born on January 1 of any year, refer to the previous year to determine your full retirement age.
If you retire at full retirement age, you’ll receive an unreduced retirement benefit.
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When Will Social Security Run Out Of Money
The Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund, which is the retirement benefits funding account managed by the Social Security Administration, is on track to run out of money in 2034.
The cost of the program is projected to exceed income in 2020. In 2034, the programs income will be enough to pay about 77 percent of scheduled benefits.
Congress is considering various proposals to shore up Social Security, including increasing the amount of income that the program taxes, hiking payroll taxes and cutting benefits.
Who Misses Out On Social Security Benefits And Why
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Does everyone get Social Security? No. Still, American workers who will not qualify for Social Security retirement benefits are relatively rare. If you are one of them, its important to know, so you can secure other sources of income or determine whether its possible for you to become eligible. What follows are the eight most common categories of workers who lack Social Security eligibility and thus are not entitled to benefits.
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Earnings And Their Impact On Your Benefit Amount: How Much Will My Social Security Payment Be
Certain types of earnings may reduce your actual retirement benefit amount, while others will not. Those that may reduce the amount you receive include:
- Wages earned as an employee. These dollars will be calculated for the taxable year that you earn them.
- Self-employment net earnings. These dollars are calculated for the taxable year that they are received.
- Work related income, including commissions and bonuses.
Other types of earnings will not impact the amount of the retirement benefit you receive. Generally, these will include:
- Retirement and pension payments
- Investment income
- Income earned after you reach your full retirement age
In some instances, other types of income may affect the bottom line of your retirement benefit amount. Its best to check with your tax professional or call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213.
How Do I Estimate My Monthly Retirement Benefits
You can estimate your monthly retirement benefits by calculating your PIA, the monthly benefit youre eligible to receive once you reach your FRA. To determine your PIA, the Social Security Administration uses your best 35 years of employment to arrive at your Average Indexed Monthly Earnings . If you havent worked for 35 years, some of the included earnings may be zero.
If you continue working after reaching your FRA, the SSA will automatically recalculate your benefits each year you continue to work. If your current income is greater than any of your previously calculated best 35 years, your benefits will be adjusted upward. The increase generally will be made in October of the following year but will be retroactive to January 1.
Social Security retirement benefits are automatically modified each year for cost-of-living adjustments , which are either positive or zero never negative. COLAs are based on the Consumer Price Index and have averaged between 1% and 2% over the past 10 years.
For more information, the SSA offers a helpful Social Security retirement calculator.
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How Long Will You Live In Retirement
Based on current estimates, a 65 year old man can expect to live approximately 18 years in retirement, and a 65 year old woman can expect to live about 20 years, but many people live longer. Planning to live well into your 90s can help you avoid outliving your income.
The worksheet takes into account some factors that impact your retirement savings. First, investing – because it involves risk. Second, inflation – because todays dollars will usually buy less each year as the cost of living rises. Your target savings rate includes any contributions your employer makes to a retirement savings plan for you, such as an employer matching contribution. If, for example, you are in a 401 plan in which you contribute 4 percent of your salary and your employer also contributes 4 percent, your saving rate would be 8 percent of your salary.
If you are not currently saving this amount, dont be discouraged. The important thing is to start saving even a small amount and increase that amount when you can. Come back and update this worksheet from time to time to reflect changes and track your progress.
Here are a few tips on how to save smart for retirement:
To track other resources you may have in retirement, start by getting your Social Security statement and an estimate of your retirement benefits on the Social Security Administrations website, www.socialsecurity.gov/mystatement.
Get started today for a secure financial future!
Apply For Retirement Benefits
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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How Do You Apply For Social Security Benefits
If you are eligible for Social Security benefits, you can apply online, by phone or by appointment at a local Social Security office.
How to Apply for Social Security Benefits
- Applying online is the easiest way to apply for Social Security benefits. The Social Security website allows you to apply for retirement, spouses, Medicare and disability benefits at the same site. You can also apply for Supplemental Security Income benefits.
- If you dont have Internet access, you can sign up by phone. You can call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 .
- The Social Security Administration has restrictions on office visits during the COVID-19 pandemic. It does allow in-person visits for certain services. You should check with the SSAs Coronavirus page to see if you can make an in-person appointment at your local office.
Personal Information And Documents Needed To Apply For Social Security
When youre filling out a Social Security retirement benefits application, youll need to provide lots of information about yourself. We already mentioned that your birthday is part of that, but it goes far beyond that. Youll also need to share your Social Security number, place of birth, and when you want to begin receiving benefits.
Youll also need to share information about your spouse, including their name, date of birth, and Social Security number. The place and date of marriages, divorces, and deaths will also need to be disclosed, which marriage and divorce documents can help with. Those with children under 18, under 19 and still in school, or disabled children will also need to provide their names.
How Do I Qualify For Social Security Retirement Benefits
When you work and pay taxes, you earn credits toward Social Security retirement benefits. These credits are based on your annual earnings you can accrue a maximum of four credits per year. Once youve acquired 40 credits , youre fully insured and eligible to receive retirement benefits.
Your paychecks will withhold Federal Insurance Contributions Act tax until youve earned up to the taxable earnings base for the year.
Is There A Maximum Benefit
Yes, there is a limit to how much you can receive in Social Security benefits. The maximum Social Security benefit changes each year. For 2021, itâs $3,895/month for those who retire at age 70 . Multiply that by 12 to get $46,740 in maximum annual benefits. If that’s less than your anticipated annual expenses, youâll need to have additional income from your own savings to supplement it.
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Are There Retirement Benefits For My Family Members
Once you start collecting Social Security, other family members may be entitled to collect benefits as well, based on your work history. If youve been married for at least one year, your spouse may be entitled to collect spousal benefits. Under certain conditions, your children may also be entitled to benefits.
There is a limit on the amount of benefits that family members receive on the earnings record of one worker. The limit varies between 150% and 188% of the workers PIA. If the total benefits owed to your spouse and children push your familys benefits above the limit, their benefits will be reduced proportionately to bring the total within the limit. Your benefits will not be affected. Any benefits payable to an ex-spouse arent included in the family maximum.
Brief History Of Social Security
The Social Security program was created by the Social Security Act that President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law in 1935. The first checks went out in 1940. Originally it paid benefits only to workers 65 and older, but in the 1970s the government altered it to allow workers to claim benefits as early as 62. It also instituted annual cost-of-living adjustments to help Social Security keep pace with inflation.
The program has worked fairly well so far, but many people fear for the future, when there will be fewer workers to support a greater number of Social Security recipients. The latest Social Security Trustees’ Report indicates the program’s trust funds would be depleted by 2034, after which it would be able to pay out only about 76% of benefits to retirees and about 92% to disabled workers.
The government has proposed several possible solutions for ensuring the long-term sustainability of the program, but at present no plans have been set. There’s no risk of the program disappearing in the next decade or two, but it’s possible future benefits may not go as far as they do today. That’s why today’s workers need to prioritize their personal retirement savings, so they can cover most of their expenses on their own.
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Social Security For Retirement
The biggest determinant of retirement benefit amount is lifetime earnings since the benefit is based largely on the average of a person’s 35 highest-earning years. Because the SS tax is regressive, in retirement, lower-income earners will have a higher portion of their SS retirement benefits paid out in relation to their lifetime earnings than higher-income earners. Another important determinant of benefit amount is the age at which a person applies for retirement benefits.
SS is designed to replace about 40% of the average American worker’s pre-retirement income. This value is dependent on each individual’s work history higher-income earners will receive larger SS checks than lower-income earners, but the check will be a smaller percentage of their pre-retirement income. SS is not intended to be a sole source of retirement income, and as such, it is advisable to have other forms of income in retirement. This can take the form of anything from rental property income to annuities, mutual funds, or even tax-shielded retirement plans such as a 401 and/or IRAs.
Full Retirement Age
Retirement Benefits While Working
When to Apply for Social Security Retirement Benefits
- The immediate need for cash
- Life expectancy
- Relative age, income, and health of spouse
Social Security Credits
Receiving Retirement Benefits Outside of the U.S.