Another Social Security question

From ages 62-64, there are also income limits, and if you exceed them, you have to reimburse Social Security.

Obviously there’s no guarantee. But there’s some pretty impressive odds.

That’s not an excuse. It’s a legitimate reason, one that I already plan to use.

SS payments are based on your monthly income of the top paying 35 years of your life. If you quit working at 65, maybe you’d miss out on 5 high paying years from age 66-70, but because SS uses the 90/32/15 payment system, your extra payments wouldn’t be much.

As has been mentioned, your benefits stop growing after age 70 if you keep delaying.

Yes, but not by much. Also the extra money you make probably won’t amount to much.

If you make a moderate income (maybe 50-60k a year) you’ll get maybe an extra 1k a month if you start collecting SS at age 70 vs age 62. The break even point is around age 80.

So if you live until 83 you’ll get an extra 1k a month for 36 months, but is that worth delaying your retirement by 8 years? SS is calculated to break even no matter when you collect it. However those are for general numbers, some people die at 71 and some people die at 94. I guess its best to go by how long your parents and grandparents lived to get a rough idea of your life expectancy.

Regarding waiting to take Social Security: the payouts are pegged to the inflation rate, so that part of your income is as safe as money gets. If you wait to age 70 and get $2,600/month instead of the $2,000 you’d get at at 66, that’s a solid raise in recession-proof and inflation-proof income.

And if you’re still working at a high income level from 66-70, and bolstering your average SS income, then you might be raising your payout at 70 even more, say $2,800 a month instead of $2,000 — while you are also be beefing up your IRAs.

But if you’re miserable at your job, and ready to retire, then that’s okay too.

Hey, reviving my old thread because I now have another, different, social security question and I didn’t want to start a new thread.

I’m looking at the AARP website’s page which gives advice on applying for and receiving the first social security benefit check. I was trying to work out if there was a date before which you mustn’t apply lest you accidentally apply before SS considers you old enough to qualify for the next tier. For instance, it might be a good idea to wait a few days after your birthday to apply.

I came across this:

“Benefit applications can take up to three months to process, so apply three months before your planned start date.”

Doesn’t that mean you’re applying three months before your birthday, or three months too young to qualify for the next tier?

My husband turns 70 in just under three months from now. He’s going to apply to receive benefits, but if the quoted advice holds true, he should be applying now. Or will SS consider that he’s 69 and fix his benefit for life at that rate?

Hopefully I’m making myself clear. This is all pretty new to me and I’m not sure if I’m using the right terminology.

I’m no expert, but I think they adjust by month, not just year. So 69 and 11 months, and 70, would be almost exactly the same benefit. And (I’m vaguely recalling from my wife’s application) they ask you what date you want to start receiving benefits, so you can apply now and tell them to start when he turns 70.

Yeah, when my wife started to receive benefits and I went on hers, they let us time it so that I’d be 66 when they began. If you don’t see a place for when benefits start on the form, you can talk to a person. All those at SS I’ve talked to have been great, and they’ll call you back so you don’t have to sit on hold for hours.

This is very helpful. Thanks very much.

I see that you can apply online, yet they need a birth certificate. I assume you can scan it and attach it at some point in your online application. I hope he has a birth certificate somewhere - it takes awhile to order one and it’s a pain.

When I applied they said they needed all kinds of stuff including wedding licenses and birth certificates. I found the gummint had it all on me already. Maybe it was from the passport database or something - I needed far less documentation than I thought.
Still, better to be prepared with it.

Yep, better to be prepared than to start the online application and have to scramble.

He had a “certificate of live birth” from the hospital where he was born, and I had to convince him that this was not the same as a birth certificate. So he has ordered a real birth certificate from San Diego County, and it should arrive today. It would be annoying to find that they didn’t need one after all because they had one from twenty-five years ago when we first applied for a passport.

Now that I’m talking about it, I think I ran into an issue way back then. I also thought that my long-held certificate of live birth was the same as a birth certificate, and I had to scramble to get a real birth certificate in time.

Now he needs a W-2 from last year. We do have a real marriage certificate in our safe.

I’m not saying you are wrong- every jurisdiction is different and it’s possible that the hospitals in your area provide their own certificate. But the certificate I got after each of my children was born* was a copy of the form filled out by the hospital ( including the doctor’s signature) which was certified by the City Registrar as being an accurate copy as being an accurate copy of the information filed with the Bureau of Vital Records

* no idea if it was called a birth certificate or a certificate of live birth

This is what I was basing my statement of the difference between certificates of live birth vs. birth certificates. And the fact that I vaguely remember trouble when I tried to use the former when I applied for my passport twenty-five years ago.

Like I said - I’m not saying you are wrong, only that jurisdictions differ. Not all hospitals issue their own , unofficial certificates and some jurisdictions issue a copy of the hospital form certified by a government official.

I get you.

He successfully applied online this morning. It turns out they never asked for his birth certificate or his W-2! The birth certificate cost $60 to get. Jerks.

Did they ask you to pick a “start date?” I can’t remember that part clearly.

I asked him - yes, they did.

Re the questions discussed upthread about whether taking SS earlier (age 65) rather than later (full retirement age at 66 years 4 months in my case) would be a wise thing to do:

My cursory online research says that if one is still working and starts to take SS distributions before full retirement age, the distributions will be reduced by a certain percentage until you do reach full retirement age. The formula quoted to determine the amount of reduction depends on how much you make over about $18,000 or so per year, and is too bewildering for a math dunce like me - my head hurts.

just to add to Duckster, you still have to actively tell SS about declining part A

the mistake I made is not retiring at age 67 while I was still working–while my future SS earnings would be less, I could have banked my SS retirement for 3 years while still getting salary