Kendall and Bexar County Estate Planning
Texas Estate Planning Blog
If you haven’t a clue about Social Security, it's vital that you learn, so you can be ready to grow and maximize your benefits.
Lake Geneva Regional News’ recent article entitled “35% of Near-Retirees Failed a Basic Social Security Quiz. Here Are 3 Things You Need to Know About It” provides several important things you should know:
Your benefits are determined by your top 35 years of earnings. The monthly benefit you get in retirement is based on your specific earnings during your 35 highest-paid years in the workforce. If you don't work a full 35 years, you'll have $0 factored into that equation for each year you're missing an income. So, you can see how important it is to try to fill in those gaps. If you lost your job during the pandemic and are thinking about early retirement, check your earnings history before you do.
You're only entitled to your full monthly benefit when you hit full retirement age. You can claim your monthly retirement benefit in full once you hit your full retirement age (FRA). However, many people don't know what that age is. About a quarter (26%) of those aged 60 to 65 couldn't correctly identify their FRA on the quiz. Your FRA is based on your year of birth.
You can claim Social Security as early as age 62 or wait until age 70 and grow your benefits in the process. However, you'll need to know your FRA first.
You can collect Social Security, even if you never worked. If you are or were married to someone who's entitled to Social Security, you may be eligible for spousal benefits that amount to 50% of what your current or ex-spouse collects.
MassMutual found that 30% of older Americans didn't know that a person who's divorced may be able to collect Social Security benefits based on a former spouse's earnings history. Thus, it pays to read up on spousal benefits as retirement nears, even if you never held a job.
Being ill-informed about Social Security could make it more difficult to file at the right time and make the most of your Social Security income
Stay up to date on how Social Security benefits work, so you're able to make wise choices for your retirement.
Reference: Lake Geneva Regional News (April 10, 2021) “35% of Near-Retirees Failed a Basic Social Security Quiz. Here Are 3 Things You Need to Know About It”
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