Q&A About Social Security Benefits

According to a report released in January by Rutgers University/the New Jersey Coalition for Financial Education, nearly 70 percent of Social Security recipients begin to claim benefits before Full Retirement Age (FRA), even though most financial advisors recommend postponing benefits if you are financially able to do so.

How Do I Know When To Begin Claiming Benefits?

If you work with a financial advisor, they should be able to help you determine your fiscal fitness for retirement. To help make your decision whether to claim benefits, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Am I in good health?
  • Do my family members typically enjoy a long life after “retirement age”?
  • Do I plan to work after retirement?
  • Do I have income sources, such as investments, IRA, etc.?
  • Do I need Social Security benefits to make ends meet?

While you may be eligible to begin receiving benefits at age 62 (if born between 1943-1954; for individuals born after 1954, FRA is age 66), you receive “delayed retirement credits” for each month you forgo benefits until age 70. The difference could be up to 30% in the amount you receive each month!

What Counts As “Earnings”?

Wages and self-employment earnings count as “earnings,” and may affect the amount you are able to receive if your Benefits begin before FRA. Other sources of income, including government benefits, investment earnings, interest, annuities, and capital gains, do not count against your Social Security Benefits.

When Should I Contact The Social Security Administration?

Experts at Rutgers recommend contacting the Social Security Administration about three months prior to retirement. You will need to provide your Social Security card, birth certificate, proof of citizenship (if born outside the U.S.), and – if applicable – your spouse’s birth certificate, Social Security number, marriage certificate, military discharge papers, and most recent W-2 (or tax return, if self-employed).

Eligibility is based on paying Social Security taxes for 40 calendar quarters throughout your career (roughly 10 years of employment).

At Windsong, homeowners include those who are fully retired, as well as those who enjoy a semi-retired lifestyle that includes part-time work or self-employment, volunteer work, or seasonal work. Windsong Communities provide the ideal lifestyle, regardless of your “level” of retirement, with flexible spaces that can serve as a home office, locations that are convenient to travel routes, and homes designed with ease of living in mind, so you can spend more time enjoying your home and less time maintaining it.

Welcome Home to Windsong – Where Life’s A Breeze!

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