PALM SPRINGS – Many people today depend on the Social Security payments to provide their needed income to live. As the cost of living increases and some people have had stock market loses, it is very important to make the best choice of when to take Social Security. The longer you can prolong taking your benefits, the greater monthly pay out you will receive. This decision may be based on one’s health or existing wealth. Americans are living longer so if you can get by on your current income then it is wise to let your benefits grow as long as possible.
The biggest question on Social Security is when to take your benefits. If you worked 40 quarters during your lifetime, you are eligible to receive benefits. The Full Retirement age currently is age 66, which is called FRA. If you decide to take benefits before this time at age 62 or before age 66 a 25 percent penalty is placed on your benefit. The penalty reduces each month after age 62 by a monthly percentage of the 25 percent. If you can hold off and take benefits after age 66 you will gain an eight percent additional income for each year up to age 70. If a Cost of Living increase is approved during those years, you will also receive that. At age 70, you could receive almost 40 percent more each month.
Spousal benefits are 50 percent of the Primary Beneficiary and Survivor Benefits are 100 percent of the Deceased Beneficiary. An ex-spouse can file on her ex-spouse if they were married 10 years and she has not re-married. It may help to understand that before FRA the spousal benefit is not a separate benefit. It is an amount added onto a person’s own benefit if their own benefit is less than one-half the spouse’s PIA (Primary Insurance Amount).
Social Security provides indispensible protection for children. While Social Security indeed plays a critical role in the economic security of retired workers, it also provides near universal support for children, covering 98 percent of all children in the event of a death or disability of a caregiver.
This all sounds fairly simple; however, the rules of Social Security can be complex. Even though your Social Security office can help you with any questions, it is important to discuss this with your adviser as they will understand more about the taxation of Social Security and your income.
If you wish to know how much income you would receive at different election ages, please call us today. We can help you establish a plan that works best for you and your family.
The above content is for educational purposes only and not intended to be a recommendation. For a concise review or to receive more information, call Janice Gough at (650) 200-8291 or email Janice@goughinsurance.com. Gough Insurance & Financial Services is located at 125 E. Tahquitz Cyn. Way, Palm Springs.