Retirement

4 Questions About Social Security That Can Help You Plan Your Retirement

January 27, 2022 • By

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Last Updated: January 25, 2022

woman sitting at a desk on a laptop computerSocial Security benefits are part of the retirement plan of almost every American worker. If you’re among the many people covered under Social Security, you should know what your future benefit may be. These monthly payments may be a vital part of your retirement income.

We base your benefit payment on how much you earned during your working career. Higher lifetime earnings result in higher benefits. If there were some years you didn’t work or had low earnings, your benefit amount may be lower than if you had worked steadily. Even if you have never worked under Social Security, you may be able to get spouse’s retirement benefits if you are at least 62 years old and your spouse receives retirement or disability benefits. 

Our online retirement portal is a great place to start mapping out your retirement plan. There, we provide important information that you should know. For example, have you considered:

  • When you should apply to start retirement benefits?
  • What documents you need to provide?
  • Which factors may affect your retirement benefits?
  • What you should remember to do after you apply for retirement benefits?

You can use your personal my Social Security account to get an instant estimate of your future retirement benefits. You can also see the effects of starting your retirement benefits at different ages.

Benefits for family members may also be important to you. When you start receiving Social Security retirement benefits, members of your family may also qualify to receive benefits on your record. You can learn more on our Benefits page. Please share this information with family and friends to help them prepare for retirement.


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About the Author

Dawn Bystry, Deputy Associate Commissioner, Office of Strategic and Digital Communications

Deputy Associate Commissioner, Office of Strategic and Digital Communications

Comments

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  1. Ricky Y.

    At one time you had sent me paperwork stating I had 2 past employers that still has retirement money available for me and I can’t locate these letters. How can I find this information again or get copy’s of these letters?

    Reply
    • Ann C.

      Hi, Ricky. For your security, we do not have access to private information in this venue. We ask that members in our Blog community work with our offices with specific questions. You can call us at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., for assistance. You can also contact your local Social Security office. We hope this helps.

      Reply
  2. Danny J.

    CAN I APPLY FOR SS BENIFITS IN JANUARY OF MY 66TH YEAR AND STILL KEEP WORKING? HOW MUCH AM I ALLOWED TO MAKE WORKING WITHOUT EFFECTING MY SS BENIFITS?

    Reply
    • Ann C.

      Hi, Danny. Thanks for your questions. It depends on when you reach  full retirement ageIf you are younger than full retirement age and earn more than the yearly earnings limit, we may reduce your benefit amount. If you are under full retirement age for the entire year, we deduct $1 from your benefit payments for every $2 you earn above the annual limit. For 2022, that limit is $19,560. In the year you reach full retirement age, we deduct $1 in benefits for every $3 you earn above a different limit. In 2022, this limit on your earnings is $51,960. We only count your earnings up to the month before you reach your full retirement age, not your earnings for the entire year. Beginning with the month you reach full retirement age, your earnings no longer reduce your benefits, no matter how much you earn. For additional information, please visit our Receiving Benefits While Working page. We hope this helps. 

      Reply
  3. Larisa

    Dear Ann 🙂 How do I find out actual increase in monthly SS payment if I work pass 70?

    I filed for SS at 70. I have 14 zero years out 35. (meaning I only paid SS for 21 years)

    Thinking about working extra year pass 70 to replace $0 year. But not sure if it’s worth it due to NY tax. So, how do I calculate increase for working extra year?

    P.S. Tried using SSA calculator, but looks like it’s does not work pass 70 years old.

    Thank you.

    Reply
    • Ann C.

      Hi, Larisa. Good question! Each year we review the records for all Social Security recipients who work. If your latest year of earnings turns out to be one of your highest years, we refigure your benefit and pay you any increase due. This is an automatic process, and benefits are paid in December of the following year. For more information about how work affects your benefits, visit here.For additional specific questions, please call us at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., for assistance. You can also contact your local Social Security office. We hope this helps.

      Reply

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