10 Important Facts About Social Security Benefits
Thursday, February 25, 2016
What are the top 10 things you need to know about Social Security benefits? This is our list, but we bet a number of them are yours as well.
1. Social Security was not meant to be your sole source of retirement income.
2. Social Security is not just retirement. Social Security also covers disability, survivors (widows/widowers, children and spouses with minor children in their care) and auxiliary (children and spouses with minor children in their care) benefits.
3. You can use several strategies to maximize benefits. Single individuals have 3 strategies which can increase benefits by as much as $150 a month or more, couples can use several strategies (8) to maximize benefits by as much as $800 a month and widows/widowers can use 4 strategies to increase benefits by as much as $425 a month or more.
4. Not taking Social Security benefits after reaching your full retirement age will increase your benefit by 8% a year (2/3 of 1% per month).
5. The government pays 75% of the Medicare Medical Insurance (part B) premium for individuals whose modified adjusted gross income is under $85,000 per year. The income level for couples is $170,000. This is about 96% of the population.
6. Your Social Security tax (FICA) is divided between retirement, survivors and disability benefits (6.2%) and Medicare (1.45%). Self-employed people pay both the employee and employer tax or 15.3% on their net profit.
7. Cost of living adjustments (COLAs) are not automatic. They are based on the Consumer Price Index. The range has been from 0% in 2010 and 2011 to 14.3% in 1980.
8. Direct Deposit is the safest, most reliable, and most expedient method of payment. The annual savings is more than $133 million to the Social Security Trust Fund.
9. Social Security is the largest single item in the federal budget. From 1937 through 2007, $13 Trillion was collected in taxes and $10.6 Trillion was paid in benefits.
10. The Social Security Trust Fund is good through 2037. If no changes are made, the taxes collected by Social Security will still cover 75 to 78% of their obligations after 2037.
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