: Can i get my social security money back
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Getting Social Security While Living Overseas
The Social Security Administration (SSA) will send checks to anyone who is eligible for benefits and is living abroad. However, there are a few countries where the SSA is not allowed to send checks. Retirees who move to Cuba or North Korea cannot receive any checks while they are in either country, but they can get any withheld checks if they go to a country where paychecks can be sent. In addition, the SSA generally pnc zelle sign up not send Social Security checks to Cambodia, Vietnam, or areas that were in the former Soviet Union (other than Armenia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Russia), but retirees may be able to apply for an exception. In such cases, retirees can i get my social security money back have to agree to certain conditions, such as appearing in person at the U.S. embassy each month, to receive benefits.
Retirees who are U.S. citizens are entitled to continue receiving benefits for as long as they live outside the United States. However, citizens of other countries who receive Social Security may have some restrictions on how long they can receive benefits while outside the United States. The rules are quite complicated; the Social Security publication Your Payments While You Are Outside the United States explains in detail what restrictions citizens of individual countries are subject to. The SSA Web site also offers beneficiaries a can i get my social security money back payment screening tool that tells them whether they will be entitled to benefits if they remain outside the country for more than six months.
Retirees may have their checks directly deposited into a bank account in the United States, and direct deposit is available in some other countries as well. Using direct deposit avoids check-cashing and currency-conversion fees.
In countries with a large number of U.S. retirees, American embassies and consulates have individuals who are trained to provide Social Security services, including taking applications. The countries are: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Denmark, the Dominican Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Ireland, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Korea, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and Yemen. Individuals in other countries need to contact the SSA in writing or by phone. For a list of phone numbers, visit the SSA's Web page
The taxes on overseas Social Security benefits are the same as taxes on benefits for retirees living in the United States. Retirees who file individual tax returns and earn between $25,000 and $34,000 may have to pay taxes on up to 50 percent of benefits. Retirees with income over $34,000 may have to pay taxes on 85 percent of benefits. Retirees who file a joint tax return and have a combined income of between $32,000 and $44,000 may have to pay taxes on 50 percent of their benefits. Joint filers with a combined income of more than $44,000, may have to pay taxes on 85 percent of their benefits. Combined income is the retiree's adjusted gross income plus nontaxable interest plus one-half of the retiree's Social Security benefits.
In addition to U.S. taxes, some foreign countries may tax benefits as well. To find out whether a country imposes taxes on Social Security benefits, contact the country's embassy in the United States.
The SSA Web site provides information and resources on its International Programs home page for retirees who are moving outside of the United States.
What About SSI?
The rules for receiving Social Security overseas do not apply to Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. Most recipients of SSI are not entitled to benefits outside the United States. SSI benefits will stop if a recipient is outside the United States for more than 30 days, and benefits won't start up again until the recipient is back in the country for at least 30 days. However, there are exceptions for dependent children of military personnel and students studying abroad.
Last Modified: 05/21/2010
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Everything You Need to Know About Social Security Benefits
Updated: Nov. 17, 2021, 10:28 a.m.
Social Security forms an important part of most people's retirement plans, but the program itself does much more than just that. In a nutshell, Social Security is designed to support disabled and retired workers and their families by providing a guaranteed source of lifetime income for those who meet certain criteria.
Here's a closer look at how the program works, the different types of Social Security benefits available, and what you can expect when you're ready to claim benefits.
Source: The Motley Fool
How Social Security works
Social Security is a government program that collects taxes from working Americans and distributes these funds to qualifying disabled workers, retirees, and their families to help them remain financially secure.
A worker typically must earn 40 credits to qualify for Social Security, though if they die or are disabled young, they may qualify with fewer credits. A credit in 2022 is defined as $1,470 in earned income, and you may earn up to four credits per year.
You may claim Social Security based on your own work record, if you've earned enough credits, or you may be eligible to claim spousal benefits based on your current or ex-spouse's work record if this amount is larger than what you're entitled to on your own. Dependent children and other family members may also qualify for family benefits in certain circumstances.
When you're ready to apply for Social Security, you must fill out an application online or at your local Social Security Administration office. A government representative will verify the information in your application to determine if you qualify and then you'll begin receiving monthly checks.
Types of Social Security benefits
There are three main types of Social Security benefits:
- Retirement benefits
- Disability benefits
- Survivors benefits
Social Security retirement benefits are for workers 62 and older who have earned at least 40 credits. The size of your benefit checks depends on your average indexed monthly earnings (AIME) over your 35 highest-earning years, and the age at which you begin benefits.
You must wait until your full retirement age (FRA) to claim your standard benefit based on your AIME. Your FRA is 66 if you were born between 1943 and 1954, then it rises by two months every year thereafter until it reaches 67 for those born in 1960 or later.
Claiming benefits before your full retirement age (FRA) reduces your checks.
If you begin claiming at 62, you'll get only 70% of your standard benefit if your FRA is 67 or 75% if your FRA is 66. Every month you delay benefits increases banks in tri cities washington checks slightly until you reach the maximum benefit at 70. This is 124% of your standard benefit if your FRA is 67 or 132% if your FRA is 66.
Receiving Social Security benefits under your FRA could cause you to lose some of that money back to the government if your income is high enough. The Social Security Earnings Test withholds $1 from your checks for every $2 you earn above $19,560 in 2022 if you will be under your FRA all year. If you'll reach your FRA in 2022, it'll take $1 for every $3 you earn over $51,960 if you reach this amount before your FRA. Once you're past your FRA, the government recalculates your benefit to include the amount it withheld.
Certain family members can claim benefits on your work record if doing so would give them more money than they're eligible for on their own work record. Eligible family members include:
- Ex-spouses, if the marriage lasted for at least 10 years and they have not remarried
- Children under 18, or up to 19 if still enrolled in high school
- Children of any age who were disabled before 22 -- that is, not earning more than $1,260 per month in 2020, having a medical condition that results in severe functional limitations and that is expected to last 12 months or longer or result in death
Spouses and ex-spouses must be at least 62 in order to claim benefits, and spouses and children must wait for the worker to begin claiming benefits themselves before they can claim family benefits on their record.
Social Security disability benefits are available to adults 18 or older who are unable to work due to a physical or mental disability that is expected to last at least 12 months or result in death. You may still be eligible even if you haven't earned 40 credits, depending upon your age at the time of your disability. Your benefit is determined by your average lifetime earnings, so individuals who earned more while they were working will receive larger disability checks.
You must provide the government with information about your work history and your medical condition, including relevant supporting documents, when you apply. The Social Security Administration will review your case to decide if you are eligible. If it rules in your favor, you'll receive disability checks for as long as your disability lasts or the rest of your life, depending on the condition. If it rules against you, you may request a reconsideration or appeal to an administrative law judge.
Family members may be able to claim benefits on a disabled worker’s work record if they are:
- A spouse 62 or older or of any age if caring for a disabled worker’s disabled child or child 16 or younger
- Ex-spouses who were married to the disabled worker for at least 10 years and have not remarried if they meet the same criteria as spouses
- Unmarried children up to 18, or 19 if still attending high school
- Children of any age who were disabled before 22
Survivors benefits are benefits for the family members of deceased workers who qualified for Social Security.
The amount of the survivors benefit depends on the deceased worker's average income, adjusted for inflation, and their relationship to the deceased.
Surviving spouses who are 60 or older (50 or older if disabled) may claim survivors benefits, as can surviving spouses of any age if they are caring for the deceased worker's child who is under 16 or disabled. The same rules apply for ex-spouses as long as they were married to the deceased worker for at least 10 years and have not remarried.
The deceased worker's children under 18, or up to 19 if still enrolled in high school, are eligible for benefits, as are disabled children of any age if they were disabled before 22. Parents of the deceased worker may also qualify for benefits if the deceased was providing 50% or more of their financial support before they died.
In addition to these benefits, the surviving spouse or children may be eligible for a one-time death benefit of $255.
Related Retirement Topics
Learn about how to increase your income in retirement.
How Individual Retirement Accounts can fit into your retirement plan.
Understand the advantages of this type of workplace plan.
How to save for retirement when you're your own boss.
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 (COLAs) 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% bank of america cd rates october 2018 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.
Part B Premium Reduction Give Back Plans
The Medicare Part B give back plan, or premium reduction plan www syncbank com amazon log in now a feature of Medicare Advantage. Yet, only some Medicare Advantage plans offer this benefit, and it isn’t available in all areas. Those with this plan may see a higher can i get my social security money back ameris online banking personal their Social Security check, depending on their Part B premium payment method.
What is the Part B Premium Reduction Wells fargo home mortgage corporate headquarters phone number Part B premium reduction plan is just like it sounds. You enroll in the policy, and the carrier pays either part or the whole premium for your outpatient coverage. In the summary of benefits or can i get my social security money back of coverage, you’ll see a section that says Part B premium buy-down; this is where you can see how much of a reduction you’ll get. Although, your agent or the customer service number on the back of your card new iberia bank also tell you about the coverage.
What is the Give Back Benefit in Medicare?
The give-back benefit is another term for Part B premium reduction. This is when a Medicare Advantage plan reduces the amount you pay towards your Part B monthly premium.
Are Medicare Advantage Plans with Part B Give Back Popular?
These plans are becoming more widely available and a Medicare Advantage plan with a Part B premium reduction is available in most states.
Which Companies Offer Part B Premium Reduction?
Further, there are likely more companies offering this type of policy than just the ones we’ve mentioned. Also, consider the plan ratings before you enroll.
Who is Eligible for the Part B Buy-Down Plan?
Those that pay their own Part B premium will be eligible for the Part B buy-down. But, anyone with Medicaid or other forms of assistance that could pay the Part B premium can’t enroll in these plans. The plan only participates with Social Security; so, no direct payments are sent to you by the can i get my social security money back Much Do I Get Back with a Part B Give Back Plan?
The amount you get back can range from $0.10 in some counties up to $148.50. Also, the amount you get back will depend on the options in your area. Further, sometimes the same plan name will have a different premium buy-down in different counties.
Will I Receive a Check for My Part B Premium Reduction?
Beneficiaries are not reimbursed. You must pay the reduced premium amount. If your Part B premium comes out of your Social Security check, the reduced amount will reflect in your monthly check.
What is a Part B give back?
The Medicare Advantage insurance company can pay either the whole or a portion of the Part B premium for enrollees. Since the Advantage plan handles your claim instead of Medicare, these plans make more sense than a standard Part C policy.
How can Medicare Advantage plans give you back some of your Part B premium money?
The federal government pays Advantage plans to handle your claims. Once you enroll, East and west egg great gatsby doesn’t pay the claim; the policy pays. These plans have a contract with Medicare and Social Security to provide this kind of benefit.
Do Medigap plans offer a Part B premium reduction?
No, Medigap plans don’t cover Part B premiums because you need Part B to pay its portion of the claim. Medigap doesn’t replace Medicare.
How long will Social Security need to adjust my give back amount?
It can take Social Security 1-3 months to begin your Part B premium rebate. After waiting, you can expect to see a regular increase in your checks.
How Much Does the Part B Premium Reduction Plan Cost?
For the most part, the premium reduction plan costs $0 each month.
How do you qualify for $148.50 back from Medicare?
If you have Parts A and B, you can enroll in an Advantage plan with a give-back option. These plans reduce your Part B premium up to the full standard amount of $148.50 each month and add the money to your Social Security check.
How to Get a Medicare Part B Give Back Plan
To get a Part B premium reduction plan, you must be enrolled in Part A and Part B. You must also not be accepting government assistance that can i get my social security money back part of the Part B premium already. But, if you don’t qualify for a give-back plan, there are plenty of plan options on the market.
It’s important to compare Medicare Advantage & Medigap before enrolling in either option. Many beneficiaries are unaware of the many limitations that come with Advantage plans. A Part B reduction may not be worth the additional cost-sharing.
Beneficiaries on a budget should consider High Deductible Plan G or High Deductible Plan F. The is there an app for one america news are more affordable than the standard versions. Another good alternative to Medicare Advantage is Medicare Supplement Plan N.
To see what Medicare Advantage options are available in your area, use this portal to enter your zip code.
Jagger Esch is the Medicare expert for MedicareFAQ and the founder, president, and CEO of Elite Insurance Partners and MedicareFAQ.com. Since the inception of his first company in 2012, he has been dedicated to helping those eligible for Medicare by providing them with resources to educate themselves on all their Medicare options. He is featured in many publications as well as writes regularly for other expert columns regarding Medicare.
A Guide to Social Security Tax
Social Security didn't always exist. The concept was implemented in the Social Security Act of 1935, which provided benefits for the primary worker in a family when they retired at age 65. It set the groundwork for the Social Security payroll tax that started getting collected in 1937 under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA). This tax was designed to fund the Social Security benefits that would be paid out.
Since its inception, additional benefits have been added to the Social Security program, including survivors' benefits, disability benefits, and more. Here's what you need to know about how the Social Security tax works today.
How and why the Social Security tax is levied
Social Security is a payroll tax that is used to fund Social Security benefits. For most people, the tax is withheld from your paycheck with an equal amount paid by your employer. Others, such as self-employed individuals, typically pay their own Social Security tax as both the employee and the employer.
Today, the tax requires employees to pay 6.2% of qualifying earnings. Your employer matches that 6.2%. This results in a total contribution of 12.4% of your qualifying earnings. The taxes get paid into a trust fund that is used to pay for Social Security benefits for current recipients.
Where Social Security gets its funding
Social Security benefits are funded from three major sources. The largest is tax. Technically, this tax is broken down into two parts. The first, Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI), is taxed at a rate of 5.3% (or 5.015% prior to 2019). The second, Disability Insurance (DI), is taxed at 0.9% (or 1.185%. prior to 2019). Combined, these are commonly referred to as the 6.2% Social Security tax.
Other funding comes from interest earned on the balance in the Social Security trust fund as well as the taxation of Social Security benefits.
The Social Security tax doesn't always apply to all alaska airlines credit card customer service hours your income. Any qualifying income above the Social Security wage base does not incur any Social Security taxes. In 2021, the wage base was $142,800. It changes each year with inflation.
Some people don't have to pay the Social Security tax if they qualify for an exemption. However, these people typically will not be able to claim any Social Security benefits. These exemptions usually apply only to tiny portions of the population, including certain religious groups such as the Amish and Mennonite communities. Also, some state and local governments participate in certain public retirement systems in lieu of Social Security.
Some U.S. residents may qualify for a religious exemption. To qualify, you must be a member of a religious group that existed prior to the end of 1950. The group must provide for its dependent members with a reasonable standard of living, and it must object to accepting Social Security benefits.
If you are a member of one of the qualifying groups, you have to fill out Form 4029 to apply for this exemption. In order to qualify, you must never have been eligible to receive benefits under Social Security programs. If you're eligible, even if you haven't made claims yet, you cannot use this exemption.
Students may qualify for a temporary exemption if they're employed by the same school where they're enrolled. Students only qualify if they are employed because of their enrollment status. That means you must be a student before you obtain the job. Your job must also require you to remain a student for the exemption to qualify. This exemption only applies to income earned through the school-related job, not any other income.
Certain non-U.S. citizens and employees of foreign governments working in the U.S. may also qualify for Social Security tax exemptions. This exemption usually depends on the type of visa a person holds.
Do self-employed individuals pay Social Security tax?
Self-employed individuals have to pay both the employee and employer parts of payroll taxes, including Social Security tax, instead of just paying the employee portion of the tax, thanks to the 1954 Self-Employed Contributions Act (SECA). This act made it so that self-employed individuals have to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes.
As far as Social Security taxes go, that means self-employed individuals pay a 12.4% Social Security tax on self-employment net earnings. Part of the tax is considered a deductible business expense, but it does not make up for the much larger taxation amount self-employed individuals pay out of their own pockets compared with what an employee of a company would pay out of their paycheck.
Will I pay the tax if I continue working after I start claiming Social Security?
You may still be working when you begin drawing Social Security benefits. It may seem counterintuitive to continue paying the tax once you start taking benefits. However, you must pay the Social Security payroll tax as long as you earn wages or self-employment income that isn't exempt from FICA or SECA taxes.
How much tax do I have to pay to qualify for Social Security benefits?
Figuring out if you qualify for traditional Social Security retirement benefits isn't as simple as making sure you've paid a certain dollar amount of Social Security taxes. Instead, the system uses Social Security credits to determine eligibility. To qualify for traditional Social Security retirement benefits, you must have earned 40 Social Security credits.
Starting in 1978, you could earn up to four Social Security credits per year by paying Social Security taxes. You earn credits based on your wages and self-employment income for the year.
In 2021, you earn one credit for each $1,470 in covered earnings. To earn the full four credits possible in 2021, you must earn at least $5,880. The amount to earn one credit may change from year to year and was lower in years before 2021.
Do I pay Social Security tax or income tax on my Social Security benefit payments?
If you earn between $25,000 and $34,000 per year as a single filer (or $32,000 to $44,000 if you’re married filing jointly), you will pay income taxes on up to 50% of your Social Security benefits. If you earn more than $34,000 (or $44,000 if you’re married filing jointly), you’ll pay taxes on up to 85% of your benefits. You will never be taxed on more than 85% of your Social Security benefits.
Remember, with TurboTax, we'll ask you simple questions about your life and help you fill out all the right tax forms. With TurboTax you can be confident your taxes are done right, from simple to complex tax returns, no matter what your situation.
Social Security Basics: 12 Things You Must Know About Claiming and Maximizing Your Social Security Benefits
For many Americans, Social Security benefits are the bedrock of retirement income so maximizing this stream of income is critical.
The rules for claiming Social Security benefits can be complex, but this guide will help you successfully navigate the details. Educating yourself can ensure that you claim the maximum amount to which you are entitled.
Here are 12 essential details you need to know.
Know Your Social Security ‘Full Retirement Age’
First things first:Determine your Social Security full retirement age. For people born between 1943 and 1954, full retirement age is 66. If your birthday falls between 1955 and 1959, it gradually climbs to 67. If you are born in 1960 or later, your full retirement age is 67.
You can claim your Social Security benefits a few years before or after your full retirement age, and your monthly benefit amount will vary as a result. More on that in a moment.
How Your Social Security Benefits Are Earned
To be eligible for Social Security benefits in retirement, you must earn at least 40 "credits" throughout your career. You can earn as many as four credits each year, so it takes 10 years of work to qualify for Social Security.
In 2021, you must earn $1,470 to get one Social Security work credit and $5,880 to get the maximum four credits for the year.
How Your Social Security Benefits Are Calculated
Your Social Security benefits are based on the 35 calendar years in which your income was the highest. If you have fewer than 35 years of earnings, each year with no earnings will be entered as zero. You can increase your Social Security benefit at any time (even via part-time work during retirement) by replacing a zero or low-income year with a higher-income year.
There is a maximum Social Security benefit amount you can receive, though it depends on the age you retire. For someone at full retirement age in 2021, the maximum monthly benefit is $3,113. For someone filing at age 70, the maximum monthly amount is $3,895.
To estimate your benefits, use the Social Security's online Retirement Estimator.
There’s an Annual Social Security Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA)
One of the best features of Social Security benefits is that the government adjusts the benefits each year based on inflation. This is called a cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA, and helps your payments keep up with increasing living expenses. The Social Security COLA is quite valuable; it’s the equivalent of buying inflation protection on a private annuity, which can get expensive.
Because the COLA is calculated based on changes in a federal consumer price index, the size of the COLA depends largely on broad inflation levels determined by the government. In 2021, Social Security beneficiaries saw a 1.3% COLA in their monthly Social Security benefits.
The Kiplinger Crossfit workouts at home predicted in September that the COLA for 2022 could be 6%, which would be the largest adjustment since 1982. The final COLA for 2022 will be announced on Oct. 13.
Here’s what COLAs have been in other recent years:
- 2009: 5.8%
- 2010: 0%
- 2011: 0%
- 2012: 3.6%
- 2013: 1.7%
- 2014: 1.5%
- 2015: 1.7%
- 2016: 0%
- 2017: 0.3%
- 2018: 2%
- 2019: 2.8%
- 2020: 1.6%
- 2021: 1.3%
Your Monthly Social Security Benefits Increase the Longer You Wait to Claim
You can collect Social Security benefits as soon as you turn 62, but taking benefits before your full retirement age means a permanent reduction in your payments can i get my social security money back of as much as 25% to 30%, depending on your full retirement age.
If you wait until you hit full retirement age to claim Social Security benefits, you’ll receive 100% of your earned benefits. But you can also get a big bonus by waiting to claim your Social Security benefits at age 70 — your monthly Social Security benefit will grow by 8% a year until then. Any cost-of-living adjustments will be included, too, so you don't forgo those by waiting.
Waiting to claim your Social Security benefits can help your heirs as well. By waiting to take her benefit, a high-earning wife, for example, can ensure that her low-earning husband will receive a much higher survivor benefit in the event she dies before him. That extra income of up to 32% could make a big difference.
There’s a Social Security Spousal Benefit
Marriage brings couples an advantage when it comes to Social Security. One spouse can take what's called a spousal benefit, worth up to 50% of the other spouse's Social Security benefit. For example, if your monthly Social Security benefit is worth $2,000 but your spouse's own benefit is only worth $500, your spouse can collect a spousal benefit worth $1,000 -- bringing in $500 more in income per month. (Note: The higher-earning spouse must apply for his or her own Social Posterior tib fib ligament benefit first.)
Just as the benefit based on your own work history is reduced if you claim it early, the same is true for a spousal benefit. That 50% figure is the maximum amount that only a spouse who is at least full retirement age is eligible for. Taking the spousal benefit early at, say, age 62, reduces the amount to as little as 32.5% of the higher earner’s benefit. If you take your own benefit early and then later switch to a spousal benefit, your spousal benefit will still be reduced.
Another spousal-benefit tactic: In some cases, a spouse who is delaying his or her own benefit but still wants to bring some Social Security income into the household can restrict their application to a spousal benefit only. To use this strategy, the spouse restricting his or her application must be at full retirement age and he or she must have been born on or before January 1, 1954. So the lower-earning spouse, say the wife, applies for benefits on her own record. The husband then applies for a spousal benefit only, and he receives half of his wife's benefit while his own benefit continues to grow. When he's 70, he can switch to his own, higher benefit.
Children Can Also Collect Social Security Benefits
Minor children of Social Security beneficiaries can be eligible for benefits. Children up to age 18 (or up to age 19 if they are full-time students who haven't graduated from high school) and disabled children older than 18 may be able to receive up to half of a parent's Social Security benefit. The disability must have occurred before the age of 22. The adult child can continue collecting the benefit even after the parent has died, as long as the disability prevents them from working.
There Are Social Security Survivor Benefits for Spouses and Children
If your spouse dies before you, you can take a Social Security survivor benefit. However, that won't be in addition to your own benefit. You must choose one or the other. If you are at full retirement age, that benefit is worth 100% of what your spouse was receiving at the time of his or her death (or 100% of what your spouse would have been eligible to receive if he or she hadn't yet taken benefits).
A widow or widower can boone county library florence ky taking a survivor benefit at age 60. However, the payment will be reduced because it's taken before full retirement age. If you remarry before age 60, you are not eligible for a survivor benefit. If you remarry after age 60, you may be eligible for a survivor benefit based on your former spouse's earnings.
Eligible children who are under age 18 (up to age 19 if attending high school full time) or were disabled before age 22 can also receive a Social Security survivor benefit. It would be worth up to 75% of the deceased's benefit.
You Can Claim Social Security Benefits Earned by Your Ex-Spouse
Just because you're divorced doesn't mean you've lost the ability to get a Social Security benefit based on your former spouse's earnings. You can receive a benefit based on his or her record instead of a benefit based on your own work record if you were married at least 10 years, you are 62 or older, and you are single.
Like a regular spousal benefit, you can get up to 50% of an ex-spouse's benefit -- less if you claim before full retirement age. And the beauty of it is that your ex never needs to know because you apply for the benefit directly through the Social Security Administration. Taking a benefit on your ex-spouse's record has no effect on his or her benefit or the benefit of your ex's new spouse. And unlike a regular spousal benefit, if your ex qualifies for benefits but has yet to apply, you can still start collecting Social Security based on the ex's record, though you must have been divorced for at least two years.
Note: Ex-spouses can also take a survivor benefit if their ex died after the divorce, and, like any survivor benefit, it will be worth up to 100% of what the ex-spouse received. If you remarry after age 60, you are still eligible for the survivor benefit.
A claiming strategy if you’re divorced: Exes at full retirement age who were born on January 1, 1954, or earlier can apply to restrict their comenity bjs account to a spousal benefit while letting their own benefit grow.
You Can Undo a Social Security Benefits Claiming Decision
There aren't many times in life you can take a mulligan. But Social Security offers you the chance for a do-over. Let's say you claimed your benefit, but regretted the decision and wished you had waited. Within the first 12 months of claiming Social Security benefits, you can withdraw the application. You will need to pay back all the benefits you received, including any spousal benefits based on your record. But you can later restart your Social Security benefits at the higher amount you’ll earn by waiting.
Early claimers have another opportunity for a do-over: They can choose to suspend their Social Security benefit at full retirement age. Say you took your benefit at age 62. Once you turn full retirement age, you can suspend your benefit. You don't have to pay back what you have received, and your benefit will earn delayed retirement credits of 8% a year. Wait to restart your benefit at age 70, and your monthly payment will get up to a 32% boost -- which could erase much of the reduction from claiming early.
Your May Have to Pay Taxes on Social Security Benefits
Most people know that you pay tax into the Social Security Trust Fund throughout your career, but some retirees don't realize that you also have to pay tax on your Social Security benefits once you start taking them. Benefits lost their tax-free status in 1984, and the income thresholds for triggering tax on benefits haven't been increased since then.
It doesn't take a lot of income for your Social Security benefits to be taxed. For example, a married couple with a combined income of more than $32,000 may have to pay income tax on up to 50% of their Social Security benefits. Higher earners may have to pay income tax on up to 85% of their valley national bank online may also have to pay state income taxes on your Social Security benefits. See our list of the 12 States That Tax Social Security Benefits.
Beware the Social Security Earnings Test
Bringing in too much money in earned income can cost you if you continue to work after claiming Social Security benefits early. With what is commonly known as the Social Security earnings test for annual income, you will forfeit $1 in benefits for every $2 you make over the earnings limit, which in 2021 is $18,960. Once you are past full retirement age, the earnings test no longer applies, and you can make as much money as you want with no impact on benefits.
Any Social Security benefits forfeited to the earnings test are not lost forever. At your full retirement age, the Social Security Administration will recalculate your benefits to take into account benefits lost to the test. For example, if you claim benefits at 62 and over the next four years lose one full year’s worth of benefits to the earnings test, at a full retirement age of 66 your benefits will be recomputed -- and increased -- as if you had taken benefits three years early, instead of four. That basically means the lifetime reduction in benefits would be 20% rather than 25%.