Most Americans do not know these 3 important facts about Social Security benefits

most americans do not know these 3 important facts about social security benefits

3 little-known facts about Social Security

The Social Security system can be difficult to navigate, to put it mildly. As one economist put it, “Kafka could not have designed a more complex set of provisions with hidden catch-22s that can haunt you.”

Don't miss

  • Commercial real estate has beaten the stock market for 25 years — but only the super rich could buy in. Here's how even ordinary investors can become the landlord of Walmart, Whole Foods or Kroger
  • Cost-of-living in America is still out of control — use these 3 'real assets' to protect your wealth today, no matter what the US Fed does or says
  • These 5 magic money moves will boost you up America's net worth ladder in 2024 — and you can complete each step within minutes. Here's how

There are a lot of rules, but familiarizing yourself with them could help you make informed decisions that benefit you in retirement. Here are three you may not be aware of that could help you get more out of your benefits:

You can change your mind

Imagine you’re in your 60s and you’ve already claimed your Social Security benefits — but then you land an amazing high-paying job and decide you can put off collecting benefits. After all, delaying claiming until age 70 gives you the maximum retirement benefit.

So can you change your mind? Yes, under certain conditions.

If it’s been less than 12 months since you claimed the benefits, you can withdraw your application and apply again later. To do this you need to fill out and mail Form SSA-521 to your local Social Security office. Anyone else who receives benefits based on your application must consent in writing as well.

You’ll need to have some savings set aside, though. When you withdraw your application, you’ll be required to repay any benefits you and your family received from the application (whether they live with you or not). This includes any money that was withheld from your checks, including Medicare premiums, tax withholdings and garnishments.

You can claim benefits based on your ex’s record

If you’re divorced and entitled to Social Security retirement or disability benefits, you may be able to claim benefits under your ex-spouse’s record. Under the rules, you may be entitled to up to half of your ex’s retirement benefits — and it won’t decrease the amount your ex or their current spouse receives either.

To claim based on your ex-spouse’s record, the benefits you’ll receive must be higher than the ones you’ll receive based on your own record. This only applies if you were married for at least 10 years, you’re currently unmarried and you’re at least 62 years of age.

If your ex hasn’t yet claimed their benefits but you want to, you can still claim based on their record if you’ve been divorced for at least two continuous years, as long as they qualify for benefits.

If you choose this option, your benefits will be based on your own record first. Then, if the benefit based on your spouse’s record is higher, you’ll get an additional amount so the total benefit equals the higher amount.

You can still work while you’re receiving benefits

It’s a common misconception that you can’t work once you start receiving Social Security retirement or survivor’s benefits.

If you’re younger than full retirement age, your benefit payments may be reduced based on any income you earn. In 2024, if you’re under full retirement age for the entire year, $1 will be deducted for every $2 you earn above $22,320.

In the year you reach what’s considered your full retirement age, $1 is deducted for every $3 you earn above a certain limit (in 2024 it's $59,520) up to the month before you reach full retirement age.

Once you reach full retirement age, no amount of earnings will reduce your benefits — and your benefits will be recalculated so you get credit for the amount that was reduced that year due to earnings.

Working might ultimately help you receive a higher benefit as well.

Each year, the Social Security Administration (SSA) reviews the records of everyone receiving benefits and reporting wages for the previous year. If your latest year of earnings is one of your highest, then they’ll recalculate your benefit and pay you any increase, retroactive to January of the year after you earned the money.

Effectively navigating the Social Security system can have a material effect on your retirement income. It can be invaluable to engage a financial planner to navigate the system and ensure you’re getting everything you’re entitled to.

What to read next

  • Rich young Americans have lost confidence in the stock market — and are betting on these assets instead. Get in now for strong long-term tailwinds
  • Car insurance premiums in America are through the roof — and only getting worse. But 5 minutes could have you paying as little as $29/month
  • Stop crushing your retirement dreams with wealth-killing costs and headaches — here are 10 'must-haves' when choosing a trading platform (and 1 option that has them all)

This article provides information only and should not be construed as advice. It is provided without warranty of any kind.

OTHER NEWS

8 minutes ago

New video shows would-be Trump assassin Thomas Matthew Crooks at rally an hour before he opened fire

8 minutes ago

Donald Trump to attend funeral of Corey Comperatore, firefighter killed during assassination attempt

8 minutes ago

Video: Lisa Kudrow, 60, cuts a youthful figure as the Friends star heads to Jimmy Kimmel to promote new Apple TV+ show Time Bandits

8 minutes ago

Video: 'It was horrible for her but she saved my life': Heston Blumenthal tearfully reveals his wife Melanie was forced to have him sectioned during his bipolar battle

15 minutes ago

‘Dancing With The Stars’ Tribute Waltz To Len Goodman Earned An Emmy Nomination

15 minutes ago

‘Frasier’ Sets Season 2 Premiere On Paramount+

17 minutes ago

England's Ben Duckett could be forced to leave second Test with West Indies EARLY - with Dan Lawrence on standby to replace the Nottinghamshire opener

17 minutes ago

NYC is rocked by cases of Victorian-era disease in migrant center - as critics blame Biden's porous border

17 minutes ago

UFO hunters claim to be in possession of debris from alien space craft that is lighter than a petal

17 minutes ago

Get the 'wonder cream in a jar' for a steal: Viral snail SLIME face cream now under £15 in Amazon's Prime Day sale: 'The results so far are amazing'

17 minutes ago

Xander Schauffele, Ludvig Aberg and Bryson DeChambeau to finish in the top 10 including ties at The Open now 10/1 as Royal Troon prepares to host season's final major

17 minutes ago

Former USMNT star and Fox Sports soccer analyst Alexi Lalas splits fans as he attends Republican Convention in Milwaukee and voices support for GOP and Trump's running mate JD Vance

17 minutes ago

Video: Afghanistan Gold Star families want 'strong leader' Trump back in office and reveal Biden is STILL ignoring their calls to meet

17 minutes ago

Video: Shocking moment drink-driver races the WRONG WAY down a dual carriageway before officers pull him over and find him three times over the limit

17 minutes ago

Video: Trump's Republican miracle: Donald's ear and GOP wounds heal as rivals Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis tell party to unite behind shooting survivor... after calling him unhinged and a loser

17 minutes ago

Video: Trump's Republican miracle: Donald's ear and GOP wounds heal as rivals Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis tell party to unite behind shooting survivor... after calling him unhinged and a loser

18 minutes ago

8 of the Best Perennial Plants for Shade — Bring Dark Corners to Life with These Cool Beauties

18 minutes ago

Giants head coach would have traded up to draft QB Jayden Daniels

18 minutes ago

Ned Leonard gets caught out in the most bizarre way possible in Somerset vs Yorkshire Second Eleven Twenty20 final

18 minutes ago

Tennis-Billie Jean King Cup finals moved to Malaga

18 minutes ago

A checkup for the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 2: Still lots to do

18 minutes ago

‘Shōgun’: FX Remake Eclipses NBC Miniseries With 25 Emmy Nominations

18 minutes ago

Caleb Williams, Bears have several vital questions to answer during training camp

18 minutes ago

Emmy nominations 2024: List of top nominees

18 minutes ago

The Tragic True Life Story Of Shannen Doherty

18 minutes ago

'Fight, fight fight!' has become the RNC rallying cry. Trump's supporters explain why

18 minutes ago

Richard Carapaz rides clear to win stage 17 of Tour de France

18 minutes ago

Drug which extends life of mice hints at longer, healthy old age for humans

18 minutes ago

Carapaz climbs solo to stage 17 victory on Tour de France, Pogacar retains lead

18 minutes ago

See behind-the-scenes of Ryan Seacrest's first ‘Wheel of Fortune’

18 minutes ago

Forget pull-ups — strengthen your biceps, triceps and shoulders with this 20-minute dumbbell workout

18 minutes ago

Drivers who own used petrol and diesel cars warned they could be 'left stranded'

18 minutes ago

Clarkson's Farm star Kaleb Cooper warns of 'difficult season' ahead for Diddly Squat

18 minutes ago

Reds name surprise captaincy choice for Wales clash while veteran Wallaby back at fly-half

18 minutes ago

Harry Kane trophy curse goes on after his Euro 2024 heartbreak to leave questions over his England future... and with a new boss at Bayern Munich, there's still plenty of pressure on his shoulders to finally break his duck

18 minutes ago

Jude Bellingham is football's Emma Raducanu, Gareth Southgate was stuck in a time warp… and Bukayo Saka is the rightful player of the year: JEFF POWELL'S damning verdict on England's Euros

18 minutes ago

Hearts vs Tottenham: Live score, team news and updates as Ange Postecoglou's side get their pre-season preparations underway in Scotland

18 minutes ago

Man United fans call for Harry Maguire to be reinstated as captain as wholesome video of the England defender emerges from first day of pre-season at Carrington

18 minutes ago

Photo editor from major news outlet fears bleeding Trump images will be used as ‘propaganda’: report

18 minutes ago

Last chance! Snap up massive Prime Day discounts on tech from Apple, Beats, JBL, Dell, and more

ALONGWALKER VIETNAM: Kênh khám phá trải nghiệm của giới trẻ, thế giới du lịch ALONGWALKER INDONESIA: Saluran untuk mengeksplorasi pengalaman para pemuda global