Retirement Amounts To A Couple

Q: Is there a limit to the amount of Social Security benefits payable to a couple?  A: This question is received so often that I routinely discuss it when teaching retirement seminars.  There is no marriage penalty, limit or other reduction when each member of a couple receives Social Security retirement based on their individual work records.  …
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When Do SSA Survivors Benefits Begin?

Q: When do Social Security survivors benefits begin? A: Social Security survivors benefits can begin effective with the month of death, assuming there are eligible family members to pay. When a person receiving Social Security benefits dies, even at the end of a month, benefits are not payable for that month. For example, if the death is…
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Today Is Check Your Statement Day

Noted in yesterday’s post about my Social Security, today is “Check Your Statement Day.” Checking your Social Security Statement is important for retirement planning but, in my opinion, it is even more important for people many years away from retirement, especially if you have dependent children. Including survivors and disability benefits, Social Security is far…
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Recent Social Security Claiming Changes

Enacted last November, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (Public Law 114-74) covered many diverse topics including changes to Social Security rules. The legislation closed two Social Security benefit loopholes used primarily by married couples for claiming retirement and spousal benefits. Used by only a small fraction of retirees, these loopholes were referred to as…
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Family Members Have Individual Earnings Test Amounts

Q: My husband is starting Social Security retirement soon but I am younger and will continue working. Will my earnings reduce his benefits? A: Your earnings will not reduce his Social Security retirement because those benefits are based on his own work record. Only your personal gross wages and net income from self-employment are included…
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