1.) Your full retirement age is based on the year you were born. If you were born between the years 1943 and 1954, your full retirement age is 66. If you were born in 1960 or later, the full retirement age is 67. The full retirement age increases gradually (between age 66 and 67) for anyone born between the years 1955 and 1959.
2.) Every year you wait to begin collecting Social Security benefits will increase your benefit amount by approximately 8% per year up to the age of 70. The benefit amount is locked-in once you begin collecting but can adjust each year with the cost of living increase (COLA).
3.) If your spouse dies, you will not receive both yours and your spouse's benefits. You will receive the greater of the 2 benefits, but not both.
4.) You are able to work and also collect Social Security benefits but if you have not reached full retirement age your earnings will be subject to what is known as the retirement earnings test. If your income surpasses the test limit, Social Security may withhold all or a portion of your benefits. ***The benefits that are withheld will be repaid over your lifetime once you do reach full retirement age.
5.) Your spouse can qualify for Social Security benefits even if he or she has no earnings story. This is known as the Social Security Spousal Benefit which may be as much as 50% of the higher earning spouse's full retirement age benefit. The exact percentage is based on whether each spouse has reached full retirement age.
For answers to other important questions regarding Social Security or with help planning your Social Security Retirement Benefits, please contact the licensed experts at The Legacy Council at (513) 442-2000.