The Social Security Administration estimates that 96% of American workers are or will be eligible for Social Security retirement benefits.
However, many Americans approaching social security retirement age don’t have a full understanding of benefits it provides. Many people are not aware that:
- Social Security is currently the largest social insurance program in the U.S., funded through dedicated payroll taxes called Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA).
- If a contributor is injured or becomes ill and cannot work, he/she may qualify for disability benefits.
- If a contributor dies prior to retirement, certain family members may be eligible for survivor benefits based on their work and earnings record.
- A divorced spouse may be eligible to draw retirement benefits based her ex-husband’s contributions even if he has remarried and is already taking benefits himself.
- The Social Security retirement benefit is designed to replace a percentage of earnings at retirement and the amount received will depend primarily on two factors…lifetime earnings history and retirement age.
- Depending on year of birth, taking SS retirement benefits early can result in as much as a 30% reduction in the retirement benefit that would be payable at full retirement age.
- On the other hand, deferring Social Security retirement benefits to age 70 can result in as much as a 32% higher retirement benefit as compared to the benefit available at full retirement age.
- A portion of the Social Security retirement benefit may be subject to income tax.
- There are a variety of strategies that can be used to enhance the value of Social Security retirement benefits, and minimize or eliminate income tax on social security benefits.
- Beneficiaries who are eligible for the maximum social security benefit leave as much as $175,000 in lifetime benefits with Uncle Sam by taking benefits early (age 62).
For most people, their monthly Social Security check will form an important part of their retirement income.
Download our free Retirement and Social Security Life Guide.
It will help you understand what you can expect to receive from Social Security when you retire. Or make an appointment for your Social Security review.