There’s No Point in Claiming Social Security Benefits if You Don’t Know the Answers to These Three Questions
Like many, you may base your retirement plans based on your social security benefits. You want to receive as many benefits as possible to live a comfortable retired life.
So you naturally work hard and strive to increase your salary as often as possible.
However, did you know that there are a few questions, and answers you should know to maximize your benefits?
Take a look at these questions. It’s only if you are confident and comfortable with the answers should you consider applying for your social security check.
What Are the Effects of My Age on My Social Security Benefits?
You ask this question because you know that you are considered eligible for your social security check when you turn 62. And that’s when you most probably plan to cash your benefits.
However, doing so only permanently reduces your check amount.
If you start claiming early and live till the 80s, you lose lots of money that would have helped you enjoy retired life better.
You should instead wait a little longer until your full retirement age of 66 or 67 for assured larger checks through retired life.
Your exact full retirement age (FRA) depends on your birth year. If you collect your check before your FRA, you end up with reduced social security benefits every month.
Conversely, delaying claims till you reach the maximum age limit of 70 proves profitable to you. You stand to receive 124% of the amount if your FRA is 67 and 132% of your FRA is 66.
Is There a Chance of My Losing Benefits Back to the Government?
Yes, there is the possibility of losing money to the government through taxes or the Social Security Earnings Test.
If you are claiming benefits, and your annual income exceeds a certain amount, then you may owe a maximum of 85% of the benefits in taxes. However, this applies only to the Federal government.
State governments have their own rules about social security benefit taxes.
It’s not possible to avoid social security benefit taxes.
However, you can at least wait and claim only when you are fully retired. That’s when your income lowers, which helps you avoid or at least reduce the number of taxable benefits.
You can also lose some money if you are still working under your FRA. You will then have to subject your income to the Social Security Earnings Test.
The good news, however, is that you don’t lose this money forever.
The government will recalculate your social security benefits when you reach your FRA. And you usually end up receiving larger checks.
Avoid this unnecessary confusion by delaying your social security benefits claim till you retire, reach your FRA, or are eligible for bigger checks.
Will My Family Members get Affected by My Decision?
It’s because you aren’t the only one claiming benefits based on your work history.
Your stay-at-home spouse and minor child can also qualify for benefits once you start claiming. So if you claim early before your FRA, then both you and your spouse’s benefits are reduced.
It’s better to consult with your family before making claims if your claim will affect some family members. It’s when everyone is comfortable with your decision that you can maximize your household benefits and income.
Knowing these three questions, and their answers, help you decide when you should claim your social security benefits. You can also consult your Burbank social security benefits lawyer for added guidance before taking the next step.