A Few Basic Facts About Social Security


A Few Basic Facts About Social Security

Posted by Infinite Wealth Advisors, LLC
9 years ago | August 10, 2015

Loving Woman Embracing Man From Behind Against Clear SkyAll your life, you have paid into the Social Security program. Once you retire, you will claim your well-deserved benefits. They will become a part of your budget in retirement, so it helps to know what you should expect.

There’s no need to memorize all of the program’s rules and regulations. But if you educate yourself about the most important basic facts of the Social Security system, you will have a better idea of what to expect when you retire.

Social Security was never meant to support you during retirement. This is possibly the most important rule to remember. This is not a government-sponsored retirement pension that will take care of everyone in old age. Social Security was only ever meant to be a supplement to other forms of income in retirement, such as a pension or distributions from a retirement fund. Make sure that you have planed for a primary stream of revenue after you retire.

Make sure you qualify for benefits. Social Security is also not a guaranteed source of funds. For each year that you work and pay taxes, you earn “work credits”. Before you can claim your benefits, you must earn 40 work credits. Most people won’t have a problem with this requirement, but you should check on your number of credits if you have experienced long periods of unemployment. Don’t retire without making sure you are eligible for benefits!

You can claim benefits earlier than your full retirement age. Your full retirement age is 65 to 67, depending upon when you were born. This is the age at which you will receive your full monthly benefit. But if you need to retire early for some reason, you can claim a reduced benefit starting at age 62. Remember that your benefits will be permanently reduced from what they would have been, but this is a good option if you need to retire early.

You can earn a larger benefit. If you decide to delay claiming your benefits, your benefits will grow by about 8 percent for each year that you wait beyond your full retirement age. There is no benefit to waiting past age 70, so make sure to claim your benefits by then.

You don’t have to wait in line. You might imagine the transition into retirement as an enormous hassle rife with paperwork and waiting in lines. But you don’t have to visit your local Social Security office in order to claim your benefits. You can apply online, and the process usually takes about 15 minutes.

This information has been provided by a Licensed Insurance Professional and is not sponsored or endorsed by the Social Security Administration or any government agency.

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