SOCIAL SECURITY BASICS
10 GOTCHAS WITH THE PROGRAM
Divorce-must be married “at least 10 years” to be eligible for spousal benefits.
WEP/GPO-Public employees estimated Social Security benefits are not accurate on the website if combining pension with Social Security.
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.
Restricted Application-last remaining loophole (for those born before 1954)-so Social Security doesn’t make filling for it very easy.
Age 65 means nothing-Full Retirement Age-which is older than 65 is the equivalent.
Social Security cannot guarantee benefits-after 2033-when most Baby Boomers need it.
Congress’ promise to “protect” the program by doing nothing-guarantees further benefit cuts.
Social Security benefits are mostly taxable income-even though originally they weren’t.
Monitor an ex-spouse for survivor benefits-unless you were receiving spousal (alive) benefits you might not be informed of survivor(deceased) benefits.
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.