If you've worked and paid taxes into the Social Security system for at least 10 years and have earned a minimum of 40 work credits, you can collect your own benefits as early as age 62. We base Social Security benefits on your lifetime earnings.
Any person with a previous marriage that ended in divorce is eligible if the ex-spouse was fully insured for Social Security benefits and the marriage lasted at least 10 years. A person with a previous marriage that ended in widowhood is also eligible if the spouse was fully insured.
Although you need at least 10 years of work (40 credits) to qualify for Social Security retirement benefits, we base the amount of your benefit on your highest 35 years of earnings.
No Income For Each Year Up To 35
If you only worked for a minimum of ten years, it is unlikely that you'll be able to receive social security benefits. Benefits are based upon a minimum of 35 working years before your monthly average income can be calculated.
If you were born in 1929 or later, you need 40 credits (usually, this is 10 years of work). If you stop working before you have enough credits to qualify for benefits, the credits will remain on your Social Security record. If you return to work later, more credits may be added.
A good retirement income is about 80% of your pre-retirement income before leaving the workforce. For example, if your pre-retirement income is $5,000 you should aim to have a $4,000 retirement income.
For 2022, the special minimum benefit starts at $45.50 for someone with 11 years of coverage and goes to $950.80 for workers with 30 years of coverage. A financial advisor can help you plan your retirement taking into account your Social Security benefits.
Even if they have never worked under Social Security, your spouse may be eligible for benefits if they are at least 62 years of age and you are receiving retirement or disability benefits. Your spouse can also qualify for Medicare at age 65.
We: Base Social Security benefits on your lifetime earnings. Adjust or “index” your actual earnings to account for changes in average wages since the year the earnings were received. Calculate your average indexed monthly earnings during the 35 years in which you earned the most.
There is a special rule that applies to earnings for one year, usually the first year of retirement. Under this rule, you can get a full Social Security benefit for any whole month you are retired, regardless of your yearly earnings.
The number of credits you need to be eligible for benefits depends on your age and the type of benefit. Anyone born in 1929 or later needs 10 years of work (40 credits) to be eligible for retirement benefits.
The maximum benefit depends on the age you retire. For example, if you retire at full retirement age in 2022, your maximum benefit would be $3,345. However, if you retire at age 62 in 2022, your maximum benefit would be $2,364. If you retire at age 70 in 2022, your maximum benefit would be $4,194.
The Voluntary Suspension Loophole
This Social Security loophole allowed a married worker to voluntarily suspend his/her own benefits after full retirement age, allowing the spouse to receive spousal benefits while the worker was not collecting benefits.
There's nothing anyone can do to prevent their ex from claiming their Social Security. Even though some divorce decrees specify that one spouse will relinquish their rights to collect the other spouse's benefits, the Social Security Administration says these provisions “are worthless and are never enforced.”
Yes, you can. Notify the Social Security Administration that you were married more than once and may qualify for benefits on more than one spouse's earnings record. They will be able to tell you which record provides the higher payment and set your benefit accordingly.
Although to some degree it might seem as if billionaires and millionaires in the U.S. shouldn't be collecting Social Security, the truth is there is no law against it, and mathematically it makes sense. Social Security isn't simply a welfare program, with money handed out to anyone who asks.
California. In America's most populous state, some 4.3 million retirees who collect Social Security can expect to receive an average $1,496.13 per month from the program in 2020, or $17,953.56 over the course of the year. California is another state where benefits are below average for the U.S.
Even if a homemaker never contributed anything to Social Security in her lifetime, if her spouse is entitled to Social Security benefits, she is entitled to a spousal Social Security benefit when she reaches her full retirement age. The amount of her benefit is one-half of her spouse's benefit.
If you wait until after your full retirement age to claim your Social Security retirement benefits, there is a little-known rule that could entitle you to a large chunk of cash all at once. This provision enables retirees who meet this requirement to receive up to six months of retroactive benefits in one lump sum.
According to the SSA's 2021 Annual Statistical Supplement, the monthly benefit amount for retired workers claiming benefits at age 62 earning the average wage was $1,480 per month for the worker alone.