8 Key Social Security Factors

Key Takeaways

  • The first $118,500 in income you earn every year is subject to the 6.2 percent Social Security tax.
  • You can start taking Social Security benefits as early as age 62, but the longer you can delay your retirement, the greater your benefits.
  • Under certain circumstances, you can receive Social Security benefits while still working. Check with your financial advisor and the Social Security Administration (SSA) for the best scenario for you and your spouse.

*** Save the date—May 16th Spring Cleaning BBQ 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Everyone’s talking about Social Security these days, and there are a lot of misconceptions. Gen-Xers and Millennials think it’s not going to be there for them, and Baby Boomers—10,000 of whom are turning 62 every day—think they better retire ASAP while the program is still solvent. But regardless of your age, here are eight factors to consider:

  • Your first $118,500 in income this year is subject to the 6.2 percent Social Security deduction.
  • To get the full benefits from Social Security, you have to have 35 years of working history—if not, the SSA assigns zeros to the years in which you didn’t work to calculate your average employment income.
  • Full retirement age is 66 today and 67 for those born in 1960 or later. You need to be up to speed on spousal benefits, suspended filing and more. Visit the Social Security Administration—it’s very well versed in this area to figure out what you need to do for these additional benefits.
  • Marital status. Taking spousal benefits, filing suspending and allowing one spouse’s social security to continue to accrue so you can take more out in the future.
  • Consider your retirement age carefully. You can take it as early as age 62; however, the longer you delay retirement, the greater your benefits—about 7 to 8 percent per year up to age 70.
  • Survivor benefits—the higher earning spouse’s earning history takes precedence when one spouse passes away.
  • Understand tax rules on Social Security benefits. It starts at $34,000 in income if you’re single and $44,000 for married couples. Up to 85 percent of your social security benefits may be taxable. So, you may want to move things around to lighten your tax burden.
  • You can take Social Security and still work between ages 62 and 66. In 2015, you can earn up to $15,720 before the government takes one dollar away from your Social Security benefits for every $2 you earn.

Additional Resources 

You can log onto to review and manage your benefits, apply for benefits or use one of the many retirement calculators they have on the site.

Previous Coyle post on Social Security for more info: Social Security


Speaking of planning, our Spring Cleaning BBQ is May 16 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Come to our parking lot to shred old documents, make donations to the Salvation Army and recycle electronics. There’ll be great food and a band. Hope to see you there!

Until next time, enjoy.

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