We get phone calls quite frequently from people wanting to know why their Social Security check is less than expected; there are several possible reasons:
- If you opted to take your benefit before your Full Retirement Age there will be a reduction to your benefit amount. Mind you, this is for life! Could be as much as 25-30% depending on your Full Retirement Age.
- If you are eligible for Medicare, that required amount is reduced from your Social Security check. Starting in 2017 that standard amount is $134. And this amount varies incrementally based on reported income.
- If your income levels, if filing before Full Retirement Age, are above the allowed earnings per the Earnings Limitations rules and regulations. This is could effectively reduce your Social Security check to zero. The Earnings Limitations for 2017 is $16,920.00 per year, and $44,880 in the year you turn Full Retirement Age. Be careful you don’t make a mistake with Earnings Limitations – could prove costly!
- If you signed a form that allows the SSA to take taxes out of your benefit amount. Some people make this decision based on their tax situation.
- Delayed retirement credits that accrue after Full Retirement Age (8% per year after Full Retirement Age) are paid out the January after the credits are earned, if you claim before age 70, and after your Full Retirement Age. If you want to shorten this delay in getting your final credits, claim late in the year. As we tell our clients, TIMING is critical.
- Also, there are reductions for those that have Federal Pension Offset. This is a whole different set of rules and regulations.
Please be mindful that filing for your benefit is not an easy decision, in fact if researched properly, is very complicated.
Professional advice is simply a phone call away at 601-954-0699 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website at www.pillarsllc.com. Roy and Diane are both National Social Security Advisors and Roy is a former CPA of 40 years– we have your back on this one! We are Corinth, MS residents, but we service clients nationwide.