Tag Archives: social security

SOCIAL SECURITY: What’s your plan?

Understanding your Social Security benefits for retirement is often the key to survival for many of us. But, about 70% of us lock in benefits at their lowest amount when 62 years old. Many are still working at this time which creates an unnecessary conflict with your social security benefits.

The so called “full retirement” age is 66 if born from 1943 to 1954. This gradually increases to 67 if born in 1960 or later. If you take benefits before full retirement and are still working you can trigger a special penalty.

If you take benefits before full retirement(62-65), social security will deduct $1 for each $2 you earn above $15,720(for 2015). If you earn just $25,000 that year, the deduction is 1/2 of $9280 or $4640 that is withheld from your benefit check.

When you reach full retirement age, social security deducts $1 for every $3 above $41,880(for 2015)–a much higher limit. So, you could earn up to that limit without loosing any benefits at all–a much better scenario. Many of us will work part-time to keep things interesting and to supplement our incomes, so you want to set yourself up for the best outcome.

In addition to this, you must be aware of your tax obligations. You will pay taxes on your social security if you total income is more than $25,000 if single. However, if you file a joint return, you will be taxed on anything over $32,000. So, two single people living together have a higher tax threshold than those married. This has commonly been referred to as the marriage penalty and the main reason elders prefer to cohabit instead.

So, based on the above info from social security, the best outcome here is to simply wait until your are 66 or 67 years old to start and stay married or don’t remarry. Let me add that there is a second reason to not remarry. Remember, you can take half of your spouse’s social security at 62(without any loss to that spouse) and then start your full benefits at 70 when they are higher. You have to have been married at least 10 years to qualify.

In case this sounds a bit confusing at first, please see my other article that spells it out in more detail. In it, I provide 6 reasons to take social security at 62 and 6 reasons to take it a 70 years old. When I decided to start my social security at 62, it was because I fit into one of the 6 reasons provided. I certainly encourage you to spend a little time to understand this before you have to decide. The last thing you want to hear you left money on the table when you actually qualified for it. Here is the article When to Start Social Security: http://blog.creativeretirementforwomen.com/when-start-social-security/

L. Johnson of Creative Retirement for Women

Republicans Want to Cut Social Security

REPUBLICANS WANT TO CUT SOCIAL SECURITY

I previously reported that Rep. Ryan(R-Wis) said that we are not prepared for thenumber of baby boomers retiring. He labeled it as a debt crisis. See: http://blog.creativeretirementforwomen.com/?s=ryan On 2-7-15 Sen. Sanders(I-Ver) (photo) appeared on Up with Steve Kornacki. He said, “The Republicans are preparing to cut disability benefits and /or social security in general. That is a widely unpopular idea.” It’s not only unpopular, it can be devastating.

First of all, my political orientation is neutral. My concern is with the actual program at risk rather than the person or the party. What stuck me in watching the Sen. Sanders interview is that the threat of social security reform has not reached the people. If we knew how badly this could go, we would certainly want to do something about it.

In my attempt to answer the question as to why no one is responding. I ran across an article, Republicans Demand Social Security And Medicare Cuts, Is It Reported?(1) The article claims that people don’t actually know the terms “long-term reforms” and “entitlement spending” really means cutbacks to Social Security and Medicare. The article states that, “Ryan and the republicans understand this. This is why they talk about ‘reforming’ something that is not clearly understood as Social Security and Medicare.”

We are not responding yet because this change is not widely reported in the media nor is it well advertised by its proponents. Since, it is not well articulated, it may take a back seat to other headline issues during the presidential campaign as well. After paying into it all our working lives, we certainly don’t want a reduced return. For the retirees that rely on these programs exclusively, what will happen to them? So, as retirees or soon to be retirees, we cannot let this most essential program get buried in political jargon and grandstanding.

What can we do about this threat? Sen. Sanders made a suggestion in his interview: “If we can mobilize the American people to say we’re not going to cut Social Security, we can win that battle.” Mobilize means to take a stand and make our voices heard. It means to write or email to those in office to express our horror and outrage. It means to vote for those who will support our best interests. It means to take to the streets to protest for whats right. Whatever method you choose, we must now be united and determined to secure our retirement that we worked so hard for.  More at: http://www.creaitveretirementforwomen.com

(1)Johnson, D. (10-24-13)”Republicans Demand Social Security and Medicare Cuts, Is It Reported? from ourfuture.org. Retrieved on 2-7-15 from: http://ourfuture.org/20131024/republicans-demand-social-security-and-medicare-cuts-is-it-reported?gclid=CKqyio-b0MMCFYqDfgod-hYAUA                                                                                                                                        (2) AP photo/Rich Pedroncelli