NEXT QUARTER CENTURY

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SOCIAL SECURITY

SOCIAL SECURITY BASICS

SOCIAL SECURITY,
10 GOTCHAS WITH THE PROGRAM

  1. Divorce-must be married “at least 10 years” to be eligible for spousal benefits.

  2. WEP/GPO-Public employees estimated Social Security benefits are not accurate on the website if combining pension with Social Security.

  3. Earnings Test-if currently working and not at Full Retirement Age, Social Security benefits could be reduced or eliminated if earning over $16920/year in 2017. The reduction is $1 for every $2 over that amount.

  4. Restricted Application-last remaining loophole (for those born before 1954)-so Social Security doesn’t make filling for it very easy.

  5. Age 65 means nothing-Full Retirement Age-which is older than 65 is the equivalent.

  6. Social Security cannot guarantee benefits-after 2033-when most Baby Boomers need it.

  7. Congress’ promise to “protect” the program by doing nothing-guarantees further benefit cuts.

  8. Social Security benefits are mostly taxable income-even though originally they weren’t.

  9. Monitor an ex-spouse for survivor benefits-unless you were receiving spousal (alive) benefits you might not be informed of survivor(deceased) benefits.

  10. Social Security started out as a simple program-but due to lack of funding and more beneficiaries has resorted to benefit reduction tricks and take-aways which greatly complicates this “simple” program.

TAXATION OF SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS

Delaying for 2 may not be the smartest but delaying for 1 of the 2 usually is. The odds of both living past 80 are only 50% but the odds of one of the 2 surviving that long are 80%. Therefore the lower earner can start early and the high earner should delay till 70. This hedges for an early death and a longer life.