You can get benefits anytime between ages 62 and 70. The earlier you claim, the smaller your payment for life! The maximum payment is going to be at age 70.
Generally, it’s best to wait as long as possible to claim. There are two reasons for this.
The first reason is that by waiting, you’ll be locking in a higher payment for life. Yes, you’ll get fewer checks but you’ll have more income in your later years when you’ll need it the most.
The second is that if you’re married, your spouse will have the opportunity to receive the higher of either your benefit or theirs after you are gone.
When I enroll for Medicare at age 65, can I wait until 70 to claim for SS?
The answer is YES. A person can take Medicare without SS but not the other way around. If you file for SS, you have to enroll in at least Part A of Medicare.
What is a “restricted application for spousal benefits?”
For spouses and divorced spouse who were 62 or older at the end of 2015, a restricted application for spousal benefits may be filed when they turn full retirement age (FRA).
It allows the spouse to collect 50% of their spouse’s primary insurance amount (PIA) from 66 – 70 while their own benefit grows 8% a year until age 70.
I was married for 12 years then divorced. Am I entitled to SS benefits of my ex-husband?
Yes. You are entitled to benefits if you were married for at least 10 years.
Divorced spouse benefits can be paid even if the ex-spouse has not yet filed for benefits provided that you’ve been divorced for at least two years. He does have to be at least age 62.
You must also be currently unmarried. If you do marry later, your benefits will stop.
You can file in-person or on-line. You will need your ex-husband’s name, date of birth and Social Security number (if available). You’ll also need the date and place of marriage.
My mom passed away this month. She received her SS on the third of this month. Do I have to send it back?
No. Social Security is paid in arrears. A deceased person is not entitled to benefits in the month they died. If she receives one next month, leave it in the account and Social Security will take it back.
What are the rules for my SS being taxed?
For a married couple, if their provisional income is between $32,000 and $44,000, up to half of their benefit is taxable. If their provisional income is over $44,000 then up to 85% is taxable.
For single people, the thresholds are $25,000 and $34,000, respectively.
Provisional income is Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) plus one half of Social Security income plus tax-exempt interest.
MAGI is adjusted gross income plus amounts:
1. Excluded under an employer’s adoption assistance program
2. Deducted for interest on education loans or as a qualified tuition expense
3. Earned in a foreign country, a U.S. possession or Puerto Rico
* Not associated with or endorsed by the Social Security Administration or any other government agency.