last column I dealt with some questions regarding
Social Security Retirement Benefits questions.
In addition to thoughts here and my last column,
our office has asked a public relations speaker
to present a workshop on Social Security benefit
on Tuesday, January 25th at 6:30pm in the Marriott
Courtyard Suites at the corner of Overland and
S. Eagle Road. Please contact our office for additional
details, 466-1971 or www.idwm.net.
Many people wonder about the future of Social
Security. While my crystal ball doesn’t
work perfectly, the Social Security Trust Funds
contains about $2.5 trillion. According to the
system’s board of trustees, the existing
funds and continuing tax contributions will allow
payment of all benefits at current rates until
2037. After that, tax revenue projections indicate
that ~78% of current benefit levels will be funded.
Social Security determines the amount of your
benefits based, in part, on your highest 35 years
of earnings. So you might get a larger monthly
benefit if your extra years of work are your top
Assuming at least some benefits will be there
for you, questions as to how to best structure
your Social Security benefit deserve your attention.
If you begin collecting benefits prior to your
full retirement age (anywhere from 66-67 for must
of us under current regulations) income you earned
above $14,160 in 2010 would cost you $1 in
benefits for each $2 you earn above the limit. In the year you reach full retirement,
$1 is withheld from very $3 earned above $37,680
in 2010. However, your benefit is recalculated
upward in following years to compensate for the
money that was withheld.
If you claim benefits prior to your full retirement
age, they’ll be reduced. If, for example,
you claim benefits at age 62 and get $1,000/month,
you could get more monthly income by waiting until
age 66, you’d get at least 33% more ($1,333).
If you wait until you’re 70, you’ll
get at least 75% more ($1,750).
Generally, pensions, even government pensions,
do not reduce social security retirement income
benefits, as long as you are eligible for benefits.
Of course, some Federal employees and others such
as some railroad workers are not eligible for
Social Security as they have not paid into the
Social Security Fund. You can also collect Social
Security while you are collecting Worker’s
Compensation and your Social Security is protects
in bankruptcy and are excluded from the disposable
income calculation in a debt repayment plan.