Four Factors That Will Affect Your Social Security Benefits
You will most probably be depending on your social security check for your retired life expenses. It goes without doubt that you work relentlessly to get good jobs and promotions, which in turn contribute to your social security benefits.
However, did you know that while your income directly affects how much you will receive, there are some other contributing factors?
Read on to find out some surprising factors which affect your social security benefits.
1. It’s Not Just Your Income. Even the Number of Years You Worked Counts.
Yes, even the number of your working years is essential.
It’s because your earnings for each working year is recorded in the Social Security system.
There’s a chance that you may have gaps in employment. It could be because of illnesses, bouts of unemployment, family obligations, or a job that doesn’t pay into the system.
If this happens during your working years, you end up receiving a lower benefit amount than you would have otherwise received.
2. Your Highest Documented Earnings Count the Most
You know that you have to pay into the social security system to qualify for social security benefits. However, did you know that you also have to earn 40 credits for ten years of work?
It’s because the amount you stand to receive as benefits depends on your lifetime earnings.
And it’s the 35 highest recorded earnings and monthly benefits that are taken into consideration. That’s why it’s better to strive to boost your income as much as possible.
It’s even worth considering taking a second job so that you end up receiving more when you retire.
3. When You Decide to Claim to Start Receiving Your Check
You can’t apply for your social security check whenever you want. It is better to apply at your Full Retirement Age (FRA), which depending on your birth date, can be 66 or 67.
However, you end up with permanently reduced benefits if you opt for your monthly benefits at an earlier age.
If you have savings or are still working, it’s better to wait and apply for your benefits even after your FRA. You stand to receive much larger monthly benefits if you do so.
The latest age to apply for benefits is when you are 70. If you apply at 70 instead of 62, you end up receiving a 76% return on your check amount for the rest of your life!
4. Your Health Affects Your Social Security Check Too
Everyone hopes to be in good health throughout their lives.
However, sometimes, it’s inevitable that you or someone in your family ends up with poor health. If this happens you may have to depend on and apply for your social security benefits earlier than expected to pay for medical bills.
Conversely, if your family history and good health indicate a possibly longer retired life, then you may apply for your benefits later on.
You will most probably be working for a longer time, and won’t need to depend on your social security check till you reach your FRA. Besides, the longer you expect to live, the longer and more money you will need for retired life.
In short, those with poor health will most likely have to apply for social security benefits early. Those with an expected longer life expectancy can afford to wait and apply for maximum benefits.
So it’s quite evident that at least these 4 factors affect your social security benefits. It’s better to wait for as long as possible to apply so that you can expect a much larger check every month! Consulting with your social security lawyer in Glendale will also help!