5 Things to Know about Social Security Income

By David Leto

| Photographs By Sollina Images/Sollina Images

Just over 71 percent of all unmarried seniors receive at least half of their income from Social Security. The financial assistance that this program provides is extremely important to many people, and that is why all future beneficiaries need to spend some time familiarizing themselves with this system. 

Here is a look at five facts that every retiree should know about Social Security and Social Security Disability benefits.

You Won’t Receive Benefits Automatically

Many employees believe that they will begin receiving benefits as soon as they hit a certain age, but that is no longer true. Everyone must file an official application with the Social Security Administration in person, online, or over the phone. 

Luckily, your application can be filed a few months in advance so that you have ample time to take care of any problems.

You Can Receive Benefits Starting at Age 62

Even though you can apply for Social Security at the age of 62, you might want to wait until you are at least 66. Delaying your Social Security by just a few years could increase your monthly benefits by hundreds of dollars. 

It might be tempting to apply as soon as possible, but those who are financially secure should consider delaying their application.

Beneficiaries Can Continue to Work

Just because you are receiving Social Security doesn’t mean that you need to stop working. Some beneficiaries continue to work so that they can pay off high-interest loans with the additional income. 

Before you apply for Social Security, you must take a close look at your finances to see if it is the right decision.

Your Benefits Might Be Taxed

Unfortunately, you may end up paying taxes on your Social Security benefits if you are in a certain tax bracket. As a general rule, your benefits will be taxed if you are a single individual who is receiving more than $25,000 from all sources of income. 

Couples are taxed if their joint annual income is over $32,000 a year.

SSDI Isn’t the Same as Social Security

If you are injured or impaired in any way, then you might be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits before the age of 62. Employees who have been severely injured or impaired in any way should contact a Social Security disability attorney to learn more about their options. 

SSDI income can help with additional expenses such as medical bills, medications, and physical therapy.

Summary

With a little extra planning and some research, you won’t have to worry about any hiccups with your Social Security benefits. 

Those who wait until the last minute to file for Social Security could end up dealing with a wide variety of problems that make it difficult to cover their monthly bills.


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