Social Security is a program that was established in the United States in the 1930s to provide financial assistance to people who are retired, disabled, or otherwise unable to work. It is an important program that provides a safety net for many people, and it is important to understand how it works.
What is Social Security?
Social Security is a program that provides benefits to people who are retired, disabled, or otherwise unable to work. The program is funded by payroll taxes that are collected from workers and their employers. These taxes are used to pay benefits to people who are eligible for the program.
Who is eligible for Social Security benefits?
To be eligible for Social Security benefits, you must have worked for a certain number of years and paid payroll taxes. The number of years you need to work depends on your age. For example, if you were born in 1959 or later, you will need to have worked for 10 years to be eligible for Social Security benefits.
In addition to retirement benefits, Social Security also provides benefits for disabled workers and their families, as well as benefits for surviving family members of workers who have died.
How are Social Security benefits calculated?
Social Security benefits are based on your average earnings over your working career. Your average earnings are calculated using the highest 35 years of your earnings history. Your benefit amount is then determined by a formula that takes into account your average earnings and the age at which you start receiving benefits.
When can I start receiving Social Security benefits?
You can start receiving Social Security benefits as early as age 62, but your benefit amount will be reduced if you start receiving benefits before your full retirement age. Your full retirement age is based on your birth year, and it ranges from 66 to 67 for people born in 1943 or later.
If you delay starting your Social Security benefits beyond your full retirement age, your benefit amount will increase by a certain percentage for each year that you delay. The amount of the increase depends on your birth year, but it can be as much as 8% per year.
What should I consider when deciding when to start receiving Social Security benefits?
There are several factors to consider when deciding when to start receiving Social Security benefits. One factor is your health and life expectancy. If you expect to live a long time, it may make sense to delay starting your benefits so that you can receive a higher benefit amount for the rest of your life.
Another factor to consider is your financial situation. If you need the money to cover your living expenses, you may need to start your benefits as soon as possible. On the other hand, if you have other sources of income, you may be able to delay starting your benefits and receive a higher benefit amount later.
How are Social Security benefits taxed?
Social Security benefits can be subject to federal income tax if your income is above a certain level. The level of income that triggers taxation of Social Security benefits depends on your filing status. For example, if you are single and your income is above $25,000, up to 50% of your Social Security benefits may be subject to federal income tax.
Social Security is an important program that provides a safety net for many people in the United States.