Social Security Facts and Tips for Retirees

Tuesday, May 2, 2017, 6:00 PM | Leave Comment

If you are approaching retirement age, you’re probably looking forward to the monthly receipt of Social Security benefits.

Since 1935, the system of benefit payment has helped millions of Americans live more comfortably in their post-working years.

You can make the most of your benefits if you understand how Social Security works and keep in mind a few basic tips.

Social Security Facts and Tips for Retirees

  • You’ll Get Higher Benefits If You Work Longer

    If you have paid into the Social Security system for a sufficient length of time, you can begin to receive benefits as early as age 62.

    However, the amount of benefits will be reduced by 6.67 percent for every year before your full retirement age, currently 66 or 67, depending on your birth year, up to 36 months.

    After 36 months, the amount will be reduced by 5 percent. If you wait to collect benefits for a period after your full retirement age, you will increase the amount by 8 percent for each year you wait, up to age 70.

  • Benefits Are Based on Your Best 35 Years

    The amount of benefit you will receive is based on your best 35 years of earnings.

    If you have had a few years of lower earnings, you may wish to continue working a few more years to make up for it. This measure can help to boost your overall earnings.

  • Divorce Doesn’t Necessary Stop Your Benefits

    An individual may be able to file for benefits on an ex-spouse’s account, even if he or she has re-married.

    However, certain requirements apply:

    • The marriage lasted 10 years or longer.

    • You are age 62 or older.

    • Your ex-spouse is eligible for Social Security benefits.

    • Your own benefit is less than what you would receive on your ex-spouse’s account.

    • You are currently unmarried.

  • You Can Still Work If You Collect Benefits

    Many people still feel they want to work, whether to increase their income or because they need the stimulation and structure of working life.

    You can still collect Social Security benefits even if you work. If you reach full retirement age after 2016, the first $15,720.00 will be ignored. After that amount, each $2 will reduce your benefits by $1. If you are beyond full retirement age, the amount you earn will not affect your benefit at all.

You can maximize your benefits if you keep these tips in mind as you approach retirement age. Good planning can help to make your retirement a satisfying and enjoyable time of life.

If you need more information, social security attorneys from a firm like Horn & Kelley, PC Attorneys at Law can help to provide more details about the program.

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