6 Basic Things to Know About Social Security

If you are successful in claiming your social security benefits at the right time then this means that there is going to be more cash. For millions of Americans, social security benefits are like a backbone. When you maximize your income stream to fund a happy retirement. It is known by all that claiming socials security benefits is not easy but a complex process for all alike. This guide is going to assist you in preparing efficiently if you are planning to submit your social security sooner or later. You must acknowledge yourself by going through this guide and ensure claiming the maximum amount. Below are the12 essential points.


1. Right retirement age according to social security

You can apply for social security benefits only when you reach the full retirement age for which there is a condition. For people who are born in the years between 1943 & 1954 then you will be 66 and will climb to 67 if your birthday falls between 1955 & 1959 and for those born in 1960 or later years, 67 is going to be their full retirement age. You can apply before or after you reach your full retirement as the choice is up to you. You can use social security tools to get the precise retirement age.

2. How social security benefits calculated by SSA

Social security assistance is based on the 35 calendar years in which Americans earn money or say credit. If you have a few years of no earnings in the 35 years time period then these years are factored zero because of no earnings.  You can replace this zero any time by replacing it with a low-income year with high-income years. This is one option to balance your credits. You can also maximize the amount you will be receiving but it will depend upon when you claim your benefits. If you apply later after crossing your retirement age you get more money in your pockets. For example, people who will reach full retirement age in 2021 will gain a maximum benefit monthly of $3,113 and those who will apply for the benefits filling at the age of 70 will gain monthly benefits of $3,895. You can estimate your benefits using an online retirement estimator tool.

3. The more you wait the more you get

It is said that patience is a virtue and this is proved when you wait to gain your social security benefits.  There are no limitations which means you can claim your benefits immediately you reach retirement age that is 62 or you can claim before you reach 62 but the amount will be reduced. On the other hand, if you wait longer like till 70 years you will gain more than you expect. The amount reduced before you claim benefits reaching 62 as much as 25%-30%. If you claim after and wait longer you will get 100% of your perks in fact more. Those who wait till 70% get a special bonus for waiting and it will also grow eight percent every year until you reach 70 if you delay your benefits after 62 years. COLA is included and you are rewarded for your patience.

If you think waiting so long is of no use then you are wrong because, after you, your heirs are benefited like your wife in case she is low earning. Just imagine how much difference 32% is going to make in the life of your spouse after you are no longer present to support her.

4. Undo your SS claims

There are many people on this planet who take decisions in hurry and this can impact there as well as their family’s life. So, if you have already filed your social security, but you realized it is too soon and want to increase the amount then you can undo it. You can withdraw your application anytime within the 12 months after filing your claim. In case you have started receiving benefits you will have to return every single penny to the administration, including any spousal benefits. Later you can apply again, but this time you will get a higher amount because you have earned it by waiting.

Early claimers also have the do-over opportunity and they can make a choice to suspend their benefits when they reach their full retirement age. 

5. Claim your spouse SS benefits

Many people have this question in mind that if they are divorced, will they be able to claim spousal benefits? Well, the answer is yes but this will depend upon the records of your former spouse earning records. You can receive benefits depending upon your spouse's earning records instead of your own earning record only if you were married for at least ten years; you are single and 62 years of age.

 You will be able to gain 50% benefits on the behalf of your ex-spouse. The best part of claiming this way is that you can keep this a secret because your spouse's social security benefits will not get affected if you do so. An ex-spouse can also apply for the survivor's benefits if your ex-spouse has died after divorce and like any other social security benefit you will receive 100% of the benefits which your ex-spouse was receiving. Even if you marry after 62 you are still eligible for the survivor benefits.

6. Benefits are for all children & spouse

Survivor’s social security benefits are for those who are the heirs of the deceased like their children and spouse. But you cannot claim both your benefits and you must choose one. If you have reached your full retirement age you can receive 100% of the benefits like your spouse was doing at the time of his/her death. You can claim your survivor’s benefits at the age of 60 and even before. In case you remarry you will stop receiving survivor’s benefits. Even the children who are below 18 years of age can receive the survivor’s benefits.

These are the basic things that all the social security initial beneficiaries must know so that they can apply for SS benefits successfully.