Two factors play a significant role in determining the amount of Social Security benefits you'll receive in retirement: the amount of income you've earned over your lifetime and when you choose to start collecting benefits. The more income you've had and the later you begin collecting retirement benefits, the larger your monthly check from Social Security. As you near your retirement years, it's hard to make a big improvement in your lifetime earnings. However, the impact of your age when you begin collecting benefits can be more significant than you think. Even though most seniors are eligible to collect benefits as early as age 62, that's not usually the best option. You'll get a lot less from Social Security at that age than what you would get if you can wait until full retirement age (FRA), which is the age when you would receive unreduced benefits. Indeed, the vast majority of retirees start taking their benefit at the wrong time, losing out on about $111,000 per household, … [Read more...] about When delaying your Social Security benefits pays off
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Kailey Fralick The Motley Fool Published 10:00 AM EDT Jun 23, 2019 Social Security provides a welcome stream of guaranteed revenue in retirement, but you could be in for a rude awakening if you don't understand how the program works. There are a lot of misconceptions out there, which is understandable, because the program has changed over the years and more changes are on the horizon. But it's time to set the record straight. Here are four of the most common misconceptions about Social Security that should be laid to rest. 1. You get your full Social Security benefit at age 65. This was the case when Social Security was first created and for many years afterward. But as funding the program became more and more difficult, the government began moving the goalposts. Today, full retirement age is somewhere between 66 and 67, depending on when you were born. Are you on Social Security? Expect a smaller raise in 2020 You can start Social Security as early as 62, but you'll … [Read more...] about Social security myths: Can you separate fact from fiction?
Michael Douglass The Motley Fool Published 7:50 AM EDT May 30, 2019 Americans are worried about Social Security. Whether it's Transamerica's annual retirement survey (44% of workers fear a reduction in or elimination of Social Security benefits), Gallup (67% of workers worry a "great deal" or "fair amount" about the Social Security system as of March 2019), or any of a variety of other surveys, the trend is clear. Americans fear that Social Security won't be around (or at least won't be as generous) in the future. As the ratio of workers to retirees narrows – from between 3.2 and 3.4 between 1974 and 2008 down to a projected 2.2 in 2035 – the program will certainly be put under additional strain, and it is currently slated to run out of reserves in about 16 years. Social Security's Board of Trustees issues an annual report which reveals its exact prediction as to when Social Security will run out of money – and what happens next. The deficits … [Read more...] about Social Security is not going to go belly-up in the near future
Paul Davidson USA TODAY Published 12:01 AM EDT May 8, 2019 Many older Americans view Social Security as a financial workhorse for their golden years. Yet the program provides far less income than they think, partly because they tap the entitlement before reaching retirement age, a new survey shows. Forty-four percent of older Americans who are retired or plan to retire within 10 years see Social Security as their main source of retirement income, according to the February survey of 1,315 adults age 50 or older by the Nationwide Retirement Institute, a unit of Nationwide Financial. And 26% believe they can live comfortably on Social Security alone. “The misconceptions about Social Security are alarming,” says Tina Ambrozy, Nationwide’s president of sales and distribution. “If you think about how many are relying on Social Security to be their main source of income, it really is scary.” The 44% putting that much faith in Social Security is down from … [Read more...] about Social Security: Many rely too much on program for income
The Social Security Administration may start screening your Facebook and Instagram posts to evaluate your disability claim Currently, the federal agency uses them to investigate fraud cases, but it's planning to expand that usage Social media is considered a poor measure of a person's life, so the practice raises data privacy questions Careful what you post online. The Social Security Administration may start screening your Facebook and Instagram posts to evaluate your disability claim. At the moment, the SSA's disability investigations units and the Office of the Inspector General use social media posts to flag fraudulent activity. However, in the 2020 budget proposal released Monday, the SSA said it's planning to expand that usage to review and evaluate applicants for disability benefits. SSA spokesperson Mark Hinkle said the work is "ongoing." "We are evaluating how social media could be used by disability adjudicators in assessing the consistency and supportability … [Read more...] about Facebook, Instagram posts could affect your Social Security disability claim