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Work & Retirement

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Community Manager
AARPLynne
Posts: 535
Registered: ‎10-11-2007

Are You Savvy About Social Security?

Is this statement True or False? "Your birth date affects when your monthly Social Security benefits are paid."

 

...the answer is True. If your birthday falls between the first and 10th of the month, you will be paid on the second Wednesday of the month. People with birthdays that fall between the 11th and 20th will get paid on the third Wednesday of the month, and those with birthdays between the 21st and 31st will get paid on the fourth Wednesday. This does not apply to Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit payments.

 

Find out how savvy you are about Social Security by taking our quiz. Let us know how you did!

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Recognized Social Butterfly
drawpoker
Posts: 947
Registered: ‎06-25-2013

Re: Are You Savvy About Social Security?

[ Edited ]

Aren't you forgetting the many widows who are drawing spousal benefits on their husband's accounts?

 

For those beneficiaries,   the date of payment goes by HIS birthday,   not her's.  Or HER birthday,  as it is  Same thing for a widower drawing on late wife.     

 

Just F.Y.I.  so the millions who will be drawing benefits  not on their own soc sec. earnings record are not confused about which date will be used.    

 

Also,  did you know that for low-income beneficiaries whose Part B premiums are picked up by Medicaid,  that they automatically get bumped into the class who get checks on the 3rd of each month,   regardless of birthday?

 

Also,  besides anyone drawing SSI as you cited,  1) anyone drawing railroad retirement,  2)  or has moved outside the U.S.  or 3) has payments garnished 

 

All these classes also get checks on the 3rd of every month,  regardless of birthday

 

Seems like you are the one who is not too savvy here.       

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Valued Social Butterfly
GailL1
Posts: 3,714
Registered: ‎08-18-2008

Re: Are You Savvy About Social Security?

drawpoker, I'd give you more than (1) kudo if I could.
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Info Seeker
am40147496
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎08-02-2014

Re: Are You Savvy About Social Security?

Yes
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Conversationalist
northrancher
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎01-30-2012

Re: Are You Savvy About Social Security?

I have a question about double-dipping strategies. Is it possible for me the take benefits at 62, then switch to my husband's/spousal benefits at 66, then go back to my benefits at 70?

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Recognized Social Butterfly
drawpoker
Posts: 947
Registered: ‎06-25-2013

Re: Are You Savvy About Social Security?

[ Edited ]

Sure you can!     But why would you?   

 

The benefit you get at 70 will not be your FULL benefit.  By starting your own benefit at age 62,  that's it,  honey,  you locked in for reduced benefit amount for rest of your life.  You can't come back 8 years later and say  "gimmmeeee More.....changed my mind ......don't want the 25% reduced amount I took.... 

Sorry.   That's the way the cookie crumbles.  

 

Only way you could get more would be if you continued to work full-time at a good salary and added another 5 years of high earnings under your belt.  (This would be while drawing the spousal benefit on your husband  one half of his.  Which would mean you likely would have to give back most of that check as you would be over the earnings limit for folks under 65) But,  continuing to work that way might increase your monthly check later,   as SS would be required to factor in the last 5 years of your earnings.    But it would not bump you up to what you want,  100% of your PIA  (primary insurance amount) 

 

Only way you are going to get a check that is 100% of PIA is when your husband dies.   Then,  the one-half you were getting goes bye-bye,  and you start getting the full amount of his check.   

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Conversationalist
northrancher
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎01-30-2012

Re: Are You Savvy About Social Security?

Thanks, drawpoker. The break even for me is 78 and although I'm healthy now at 62 (thank God), both my parents died at ages 63 and 71. So, I'm hedging my bet.

 

I also used the AARP calculator and here's the recommendation: both my husband and I file at 66--I for spousal and he file/suspend; then at 70, he files for benefits and I file on my own benefits. That way I'm getting 100% of PIA. Correct?

 

What I don't want to have happen is being penalized for earnings between 62 and 66. If I have no income and my husband does, do they still penalize me for being ovr the allotted amount?

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Recognized Social Butterfly
drawpoker
Posts: 947
Registered: ‎06-25-2013

Re: Are You Savvy About Social Security?

Yes,  as you have outlined the plan.  As long as your waits to file at his full retirement age,  then suspends,  that automatically makes you eligible for the spousal benefit (one half of his). 

Then,  by his suspending and waiting until he is 70,  he should get an additional 8 % when he does begin collecting his checks. 

 

The only catch to this is that a couple has enough income coming in from other sources to support themselves while waiting for the husband to start collecting not just fulll but actually increased benefit at age 70,  meanwhile the wife is collecting only one half of his amount in her check.  

 

The ideal way this file and suspend works is for hubby to continue working right up to age 70  -  is that a possibility?

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Conversationalist
northrancher
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎01-30-2012

Re: Are You Savvy About Social Security?

Drawpoker, my husband wants to work until 70, but as we all know, stuff happens. No one knows. What is that saying--"humans make plans and God laughs." But, I guess the advantage of file/suspend is that if my husband needs to punt before 70, he can pick up his benefits at any time between 66 and 70 without losing any money. That's what I understand anyway.

 

We've had a lot of financial reversals over the years, plus putting kids through college, and have very little set aside for retirement. Have equity in our home and not much else. So, we have to make the most of our benefits AND continue to work. I actually filed for benefits a few months ago (was out of work), so I'm debating whether to return the money and wait until 66, because I'll be making way over the low allotment. It's so confusing what to do and if you call Social Security, you get different answers depending on who you talk to! Appreciate your advice. How is it you know so much about the benefits?

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Recognized Social Butterfly
drawpoker
Posts: 947
Registered: ‎06-25-2013

Re: Are You Savvy About Social Security?

Northrancher,   I guess you could say I started out as expert on survivor's benefits,  having been widowed at a young age.  Back then,  the earnings limit for beneficiaries was only like $8,700 a year  (LOL,  can you believe what a dollar was back then! ).  So I had to figure pretty closely for the next dozen years how to juggle part-time work so as not to lose any of my monthly check.  Then,  when the youngest turns 16,  of course,  the mother's check ceases,  so I went back to work full-time. 

 

To digress for just a moment,  one of the motivations for me to become an expert on soc. sec. matters was because of the scornful and nasty,  ill-informed  things my former sister-in-law was saying.  Isn't it amazing what  having nasty in-laws can do for you.   She had a  habit of going around among the relatives and saying that I should be "banking" the soc. sec. checks as representave payee instead of spending them.  She seemed to think that was the proper thing to do for someone who didn't need the child's benefits to support the family,  and it could grow to make a good  college fund,  or go toward a nice car as a graduation present.    Ha!   Little did she know.  Soc sec. requires an accounting from the representative payee when the beneficiary is no longer eligible to receive benefits.  And,  guess what,   if any of the money was "saved" or banked and is unspent,  you have to return the money to soc. security.   I often wonder if that misconception my former S.I.L. had still exists among some families.  ?  

 

Anyhooo,  back to what you asked,   at the end of the '90s I was done with soc sec. ,   giving  me a breather from their  hassles and un-ending  math challenges and puzzles  for awhile.   Until I had to decide about taking old age benefits.  (I never remarried).   I could draw on my late husband starting at age 60 and get around 72%.  Or draw on my own and get 75% (25% penalty for drawing at age 62 as you know).  

This seemed to be almost the same in terms of actual dollar amounts  -  except,  of course,  the 2 additional years of benefits I would get from age 60 to 62.   I never had 35 straight years of high earnings,  so I knew my PIA would not be very impressive.  (  Like lots of women who had to take time to raise children,   right?   Not that we were lazy ! 

Anyway,  while struggling with all the math and trying to figure if  I should wait until my full retirement age (66) and then see which one would give me the most------ 

 

As you so alertly pointed out,  life has  a way of getting in the way and changing things.  I became quite seriously ill at the beginning of 2009,  and by the end of the year it was clear I would no longer have the ability to earn an income through work,  plus unreimbursed medical bills were piling up at an alarming rate.   So,  reluctantly,  I made the decision to start drawing at 60.   

 

 

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