National Social Security Month is celebrated each April and is dedicated to educating the American public about what Social Security is, why it exists and what services and programs are available. To recognize National Social Security Month at Senior Financial Group, we have put together a Social Security Q&A to answer common questions that might cross your mind when thinking about your benefit, either now or in the future.
Q: How does Social Security work?
A: Social Security benefits are based on the earnings of your employer, or yourself if you are self-employed, and reported using your individual Social Security number.
Q: How long do I have to work to earn a Social Security benefit?
A: As you (or your spouse) work and pay Social Security taxes over the years, you build your Social Security “credits” which can be used towards benefits in the future. The longer you work, the more credits you earn. The majority of people need 10 years of work, or 40 “credits”, to qualify for Social Security benefits. Learn more about how Social Security credits work here.
Q: How can I maximize my benefit?
A: One way you can maximize your benefits is by delaying the start of them. For example, someone age 62 will receive 73% of their benefits, while someone who begins at retirement age will receive the full 100%. For more ways to maximize your benefits, click here to consult with our Social Security expert, Heather Majka.
Q: Will a part-time job at a lower salary decrease my Social Security benefit?
A: No! Continuing to work at any salary rate will never cause your benefit to go down. Your benefit is calculated from your 35 highest years of earning, but working longer will never decrease that calculation.
Q: What is my retirement age?
A: If you were born before 1945, you are eligible for your full benefit. If you were born between 1945 and 1954, your retirement age is 66. For anyone born in 1955 or after, your full retirement age is 67. If you chose to delay retirement, you are eligible to receive special credit for each month you do not claim your benefit until the age of 70.
For more technical questions and answers regarding Social Security schedule a call or in-person consultation with Heather Majka, Certified Social Security Claiming Strategist, or visit the Social Security website.