If you are counting on Social Security to assist in your retirement, you have something new to worry about beyond the constant political cry that the system will go broke before you can use it. The federal government can withhold a portion of your Social Security check to recover unpaid student loans. They have recently stepped up enforcement of this ability. In 2000, there were a total of six cases of the government withholding from Social Security for student loans. On August 6, 2012, 115,000 … [Read more...] about Student Loans and Social Security
It seems like almost every year there is news that Social Security is going to run out of money. Most people have become immune to the stories and no longer pay attention. However, parents of children with special needs, need to pay attention this time. The Washington Post, hardly an alarmist newspaper, has reported that the Social Security Disability Trust fund will run out of cash in 2016. You need to make an estate plan for your children now. Special needs children require lifetime care and … [Read more...] about Don’t Count on Social Security Disability
If you’re among the dwindling minority of Americans who can rely on a pension when you retire, you might wonder whether you’ll be able to collect your full social security retirement benefit, too. For most people, the answer to this question is “yes”, but it depends on whether you’ve always worked for an employer that participates in the social security system. There are certain government agencies, nonprofits, and foreign employers that don’t pay Social Security tax on behalf of their … [Read more...] about What is the Windfall Elimination Provision?
You can choose to start receiving Social Security retirement benefits at any time between ages 62 and 70. So, how do you know when the time is right? Here’s a short overview of how your benefits are affected by the age at which you begin receiving them. Social security benefits are calculated based on two elements. The first is your earnings history, and the second is the difference between your “normal retirement age” and the age at which you begin receiving benefits. Normal Retirement … [Read more...] about Social Security: What’s the Right Retirement Age for You?
Social Security does not only provide benefits for primary recipients, it also provides benefits for surviving spouses. These benefits are called “widow’s” benefits, although they’re payable to either a surviving husband or a surviving wife. How do they work? Here’s a brief overview: Generally, the widow’s benefit is equal to the deceased spouse’s Social Security benefit. However, if your spouse has passed away and he or she had a lower Social Security benefit than you, your benefit will not be … [Read more...] about What Happens to Social Security Benefits When Your Spouse Passes Away?
What is normal retirement age for purposes of Social Security? The answer to this question depends on your date of birth. Normal retirement age, as defined by the Social Security Administration, operates on a sliding scale system. For example: If you were born in 1937 or before, then your normal retirement age is 65. For those born after 1960, normal retirement age is 67. If you were born in between 1937 and 1960, your normal retirement age is somewhere between age 65 and age 67. You can … [Read more...] about What is Normal Retirement Age?
Did you know that you’re allowed to work while collecting Social Security retirement benefits? Whether or not your paycheck affects the amount of your Social Security depends on your age. When it comes to determining whether your benefits are affected, the government takes a three-tiered approach: Before You Reach Full Retirement Age. If you haven’t yet reached full retirement age (the range is from 65 to 67, depending on your year of birth), then earning too much money will result in a … [Read more...] about Social Security: Can You Work While Collecting Retirement Benefits?
If there is one thing that you can count on when it comes to retirement, that is that the cost of living will increase by then, and will continue to increase during your retirement years. This is why the Cost of Living Adjustment, also known as COLA, is one of the most important elements of your Social Security Benefits. COLA is a method of which your monthly benefits are adjusted for the expected cost of living increases. The Cost of Living increase adjustments that you get with your Social … [Read more...] about Inflation and Social Security
Applying for Social Security isn’t as hard as you might think. While there are plenty of rules and regulations you must follow, simply understanding the process is a big step in navigation your Social Security application. To get started, gather all your necessary documents, including your Social Security card, a certified copy of your birth certificate, your previous year’s W-2 or tax return and your proof of residency or legal alien status. If you were discharged from the military before … [Read more...] about Do You Qualify for Social Security?