What You Should Know About Social Security Benefits

The Island Now

Being an elderly or senior citizen often has its benefits. You have experienced a life full of memories and have a family to show for it, or you get discounts at stores, but the most important benefit for many is the ability to receive Social Security benefits.

These benefits help out seniors who have retired or need the extra money to get regular payments to supplement their newfound freedom from work or cover expenses in their lives. Social Security benefits are a powerful tool to help the elderly have financial independence, but here are some important facts you should know about them.

Waiting Until Retirement Age Will Pay More in Benefits

Retirement age is calculated by your date of birth and often begins at 65. Additional months, up to full years are added depending on your date of birth so it is in accordance with a moving scale that is equal for most retirees. This scale is available to find online so you can calculate when your full retirement age is. The importance of this is that if you wait until you reach that age to apply for and begin receiving your benefits, you will be getting paid more. 

You may experience anywhere from a 20-30% decrease in your Social Security benefits if you apply and receive them before your retirement age, which begins at 62. Waiting until you hit your full retirement age will ensure that you receive the correct amount you deserve and let you enjoy a much more fruitful retirement, but until then, it is not uncommon for people to use money from their retirement accounts to supplement income.

Your Benefits May Be Taxed

This one depends on which state you live in as each one has a different set of rules or regulations regarding taxation of income and benefits. According to laportelawfirm.com, it is important to find this information out for regular benefits or disability benefits because you want to know you are receiving what you deserve. This money could be the difference between a good retirement and struggling to cover your living expenses or medical costs. It is always a good idea to figure out how much of your benefits will be taxed, if any, so you can plan how much money to budget for.

Social Security Benefits Can Be Passed On to Family Members

When you pass, your benefits can be given over to your spouse to receive. The money may change in portion, as your spouse would get whichever benefits were more and vice versa. Your spouse may also be eligible to receive up to half of your retirement benefits amount if you are earning more than them. There are also situations where other family members can receive benefits. Children under the age of 19, disabled children, or dependent elderly parents can receive a benefit as well. This can help ease the burden of income on many members of your family outside of just yourself.

You Must Apply to Begin Your Payments

It is also very important to note that you will not start receiving Social Security benefit payments until you formally apply for them. To receive these benefits, you simply need to contact the Social Security Administration (SSA). They can be reached by telephone at 1-800-772-1213, or they can be contacted on their website. You need to make sure that you complete the formal application process or you could miss out on the benefits that you deserve. Be sure to understand what forms and information they require from you so you can make the process quick and easy.

You Can Still Earn Benefits While Working

The last thing you need to know about Social Security benefits is that you can continue to work even while earning your benefits. Many people choose to work into their retirement for a bit to help give them something to do, or they use it to help earn a little more for retirement activities like traveling. Your benefits will be temporarily lowered if you are earning more than your limit, which means a reduction of half over the limit in which you earn. That money is not lost and will be redistributed to you once you reach your full retirement age to ensure you get those benefits.

Reaching retirement is a major accomplishment in a person’s life and marks the beginning of a new time for them. Their senior years into retirement could mean freedom and relaxation, and it also comes with some benefits to help that. Social Security benefits are a great way for retirees to finally sit back after a long life’s worth of hard work and enjoy themselves.

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The Island Now

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