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social security benefits

The Affect of Earnings on Your Social Security Benefit

How do current earnings impact your Social Security benefit? Surprisingly, the impact can be felt in several different ways,

Your Social Security Benefits Statement

Here is a detailed explanation of the components of your Social Security benefits statement. You can get this statement online at any time.

What Your Social Security Statement Is Telling You

Do you understand what your Social Security statement is actually telling you? Chances are you might not realize what they’ve assumed.

Social Security’s PIA – What is this?

Do you know what PIA means, with regard to Social Security? It’s a very important number, the basis of many if not all important calculations.

Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) for Social Security

WEP (Windfall Elimination Provision) can cause a substantial decrease in your Social Security benefit. This article explains WEP to help you understand it.

Restoring Social Security benefit level after early filing

Did you know that restoring Social Security benefits after early filing was even a possibility? There’s at least a couple ways to do this.

Social Security Eligibility

How many Social Security credits do you need in order to be eligible for retirement benefits? What about Social Security disability?

Babies from 1960: 2020 is a year you’ll never forget

If you were born in 1960, 2020 will have more significance to you than most. This year’s economic hits will impact your Social Security, not in a good way.

2019 Social Security Survey Results

Results from my 2019 Social Security Survey are in. Some interesting information to be learned about attitudes toward filing strategies.

Survivor Benefits Do Not Affect Your Own Benefits (and vice versa)

It pays to know the rules. You can coordinate Social Security survivor benefits with your own retirement benefit if you’re eligible for both.

Are Social Security Benefits Changing in 2021?

Much has been advertised about Social Security benefits changing in 2021 – but really, it’s all old news. The “changes” have been in place since 1983.

3 Myths About Social Security Filing Age

This article takes a long hard look at these three “facts” about Social Security filing age and shows the real math behind them. All three are only true to a point – and as you’re planning your Social Security filing age, you should understand the real truth behind these three items. First, let’s look at the concept of delay. You Should Always Delay Your Social Security Filing Age to 70 This one is the easiest to understand why it’s wrong – but the component of truth in it can be important because it could work in your favor to delay. Of course an absolute like this is going to be proven incorrect in some circumstances. If you happen to be able to delay your Social Security filing age and you live a long time after age 70, over your lifetime you will receive more from Social Security than if you […]

Credit for Reduced Social Security Benefits When Subject to the Earnings Test

Continuing to work while receiving Social Security benefits may cause a reduction to your benefit – if you earn more than the annual earnings test (AET) amount. But this reduction isn’t permanent – you will get credit for reduced Social Security benefits when you reach Full Retirement Age. So how does this work? Earnings Test The earnings test limit is $17,640 for 2019 if you are under Full Retirement Age for the entire year. The limit is $46,920 in the year that you reach Full Retirement Age. Full Retirement Age (FRA) is age 66 if you were born between 1946 and 1954, ratcheting up to age 67 if your birth year is 1960 or later. So for 2019 if you were born after 1952 and you are receiving Social Security benefits, for every two dollars that you earn over $17,640, one dollar of your benefit is withheld. For example, if […]

Friends With (Social Security) Benefits

Social Security is arguably one of the most important cash flows for individuals in retirement. Many individuals have paid into the system for years, and in turn will be eligible for reduced benefits as early as age 62, or at their full retirement age (between ages 66 and 67). The decision on when to start collecting benefits is important and can impact your retirement cash flows for your remaining retirement. This decision should not be taken lightly, and it should not be left to informal conversations with friends, coworkers, etc. In other words, don’t base your decision to take benefits based on what your friends have done. Your situation is different. And in most cases, your decision is final. There are several strategies that may be employed when collecting benefits. Such strategies include taking benefits early at a reduced amount, delaying benefits for a higher amount, spousal retiree benefits, and […]

The Do It Yourself Do Over For Social Security

In addition to the 12-month Do Over option, you have a way to DIY the process. This is described in the attached article.

Spousal Benefits are for One Spouse at a Time

Note: with the passage of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 into law, File & Suspend and Restricted Application have been effectively eliminated for anyone born in 1954 or later. If born before 1954 there are some options still available, but these are limited as well. Please see the article The Death of File & Suspend and Restricted Application for more details. This post intends to clarify something that comes up repeatedly: both spouses cannot collect Spousal Benefits at the same time. If you stop and think about the mechanics of Spousal Benefits, it should become clear to you that this isn’t possible. Below is a recap of the rules that are necessary for Spousal Benefits to work. Image via Wikipedia Rules for Spousal Benefits 1. In order for a spouse to file for Spousal Benefits, the other spouse in the couple must have filed for his or her own […]

Deemed Filing

Deemed filing these days has an absolute application. It applies for folks who are eligible for both their own retirement benefit and a spousal benefit.

Are you leaving Social Security benefits on the table?

Do you know the rules well enough to make sure you aren’t leaving Social Security benefits on the table?

When it Makes Sense to Take Social Security Early

Sometimes it can make a lot of sense to take Social Security early. Even if the calculations indicate that delaying might result in more money.

What’s Up With Medicare Premiums? How Increases Are Determined

How are Medicare premiums determined each year? Sometimes there is an increase, and other times there’s not (at least for some).