How Much Can I Receive From My Social Security Retirement Benefit?

Intro

At least 50 million Americans depend on Social Security benefits to meet their basic needs after retirement. While rightly so, most Americans do not believe that Social Security Retirement benefits will be their source of income when they retire because the Social Security System is underfunded.

Some of these security benefits include retirement benefits, disability benefits, survivors’ benefits, and supplementary Security Income Benefits. In this article, we look at Social Security Retirement Benefit.

What is Social Security Retirement Benefit?

This is a benefit that is available to a senior who’s 62 years or older and has worked for at least 10 years. The age you start collecting your benefits and the salary you earned while working determine the amount you will receive. This helps you meet some of the basics at your retirement age.

How Much Can I Receive From My Social Security Retirement Benefit?

This will depend on several factors as we will find out soon. Keep in mind that when you start collecting your Social Security retirement benefits, the Social Security Association considers you a retiree.

The best part: you can work and still receive your benefits. The catch: there’s a limit to your earnings and how much you can receive. For example, if you are not under the retirement age and earn more than the set yearly earnings limit, the SSA will reduce your benefits.

On the other hand, if you are under the retirement age for at least a year, the SSA will deduct $1 for every $2 above the yearly earnings limit; $18,960.

When you reach the retirement age you will receive full benefits regardless of how much you earn. Also, should the SSA have withheld benefits, they will recalculate the benefits in a bid to offer you credit.

How does SSA deduct earnings from your benefits?

Well, let’s take 2021 as an example. If you are under the retirement age, then your yearly earnings limit is $18,960. Further, if you reach retirement age this year, your limit is $48,600 months before full retirement age.  The Social Security will deduct $1 for every $3 above the limit.

After hitting full retirement age, there’s no limit to how much you should earn. Also, there’ll be no deductions made.

What does SSA consider when deducting from your Social Security retirement benefits?

It only counts your wages if you are employed or net profit for self-employed persons. Some of the payments they consider include vacation pay, commissions, and bonuses. They do away with interest, pensions, annuities, and more.

What is the best age to start collecting your retirement benefits?

Some people recommend you start collecting benefits as early as possible while others argue that you should wait until 67 to get 100 percent of the benefits. The best option: your preference. Besides, some skeptics say that no one is assured of reaching full retirement age.

Here is the breakdown of how much you can collect once you hit 62 years.

Age you start collecting benefits

The percentage you’ll receive per month

62

70 percent

63

75 percent

64

80 percent

65

86.7 percent

66

93.3 percent

67

100 percent

As you can see, the benefits increase with each passing year. As such, the final decision is up to you. However, financial experts recommend you start receiving benefits as soon as possible. That said, if you can wait, are healthy, and have other sources of income, then you can wait till 67.

Interesting facts about Social Security retirement benefits

It is beneficial to women

Social Security retirement benefits are beneficial to women since they tend to earn less than men when working. Besides, they also take more leaves, live longer than men, save less, and receive smaller bonuses and pensions.

Women account for half of the people receiving retirement benefits from age 62. In fact, they make up 69% of beneficiaries between 90 and 99 years. This helps them cater to their basic needs and other financial emergencies.

It is beneficial to people of color

Social Security is an important source of income for people of color which includes Latino and Black workers. This is because they tend to earn less and are more susceptible to poverty compared to their white counterparts. People of color are 2.5 times more likely to end up in poverty.

Also, there’s a growing wealth gap between white and black and Latino seniors. This is because Latinos and African American workers are more likely to work in low paying jobs that have less margin for savings. But thanks to the Social Security retirement benefits, these underserved persons can fend for themselves after retirement.

It is a major source of income for seniors

Most seniors rely on retirement benefits as their sole source of income. Without it, some may end up in poverty or even die due to old age ailments. With the benefits, they can buy basic needs and even pay for their medical checkups. In fact, 1 in 4 seniors relies entirely on the benefits for a living, according to a survey by independent bodies.

Eliminates poverty

According to a survey by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Social Security retirement benefits cuts poverty by a whopping 28%. Without it, 38% of seniors would languish in poverty, but with it, only 10% are on the brink of poverty. In essence, it saves at least 15 million American seniors from poverty.

A 2012 study found that 3 in 10 seniors relied on Social Security and over 10 million elderly persons were lifted out of poverty. As you can see, the benefits are extremely beneficial, not only to the elderly but also to their families

Beneficial to children

Retirement benefits also benefit children. At least 6 million children live in homes that receive Social Security. Also, more than 3 million children receive benefits as dependents of retirees. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), at least 1.5 million were lifted out of poverty in 2018 by Social Security.

Provides a stable retirement foundation for working Americans

Almost all American workers apply for Social Security retirement benefits through tax contributions and a large number of seniors receive retirement benefits. According to Social Security Administration, more than 97% of American seniors aged between 60 and 89 receive or will receive Social Security retirement benefits.

It provides security for people at all earning levels. It also fosters the habit of savings since it doesn’t deny benefits to anyone regardless of how much they earn. Also, it has higher annual returns compared to private retirement annuities.

It also gains political and popular support thanks to its life-changing functionality. In fact, most Americans say that they are ready to contribute to their Social Security since it is not only beneficial to them but millions of other people.

Wrap up!

As you can see, you can collect your Social Security retirement benefits as you work. However, the amount you’ll receive will be less compared to what you’d accumulate when you hit full retirement age.

As for how much you’ll receive, it depends on your working wages and when you started collecting the benefits. It’s up to you to choose where you’ll start collecting at 62 or you’ll wait till you get to 67 for the 100 percent package.