Here are 10 fundamentals to understand about how Social Security benefits work. To learn more about strategies for enhancing your benefits, read our article Making the most of your Social Security benefits.
- Benefits are based on: 1) how much you earn during your career; 2) when you file for benefits; and 3) inflation
- Full-retirement age for benefits ranges from 66 to 67
- You can file for benefits as early as age 62 or as late at age 70
- Life expectancy for someone reaching age 65 is 84.3 for men and 86.6 for women
- The longer you wait to file, the larger your monthly benefits will be
- Spouses are entitled to benefits of up to 50% of their spouse’s benefit
- Widows and widowers are entitled to a survivor benefit of up to 100% of the deceased spouse’s benefit; surviving spouses must choose between their personal benefit or the survivor benefit
- If you’ve already started receiving benefits, you can “suspend” your benefits and accrue credits for delaying up to age 70
- Divorced spouses can receive spousal and survivor benefits
- Benefits can be subject to federal income tax
Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through Leelyn Smith LLC, a registered investment advisor and separate entity from LPL Financial. Tax related services offered through Leelyn Smith Tax, LLC, a separate legal entity not affiliated with LPL Financial. LPL Financial does not offer tax advice or related services.