Council on Aging Answers 2017 - 75

COUNCIL ON AGING - SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

in this example is 32 percent more than you would
receive each month if you had chosen to start getting
benefits at full retirement age.

Retirement May Be Longer Than You Think
When thinking about retirement, be sure to plan
for the long term. Many of us will live much longer
than the "average" retiree, and most women live longer than men. More than one in three 65 year olds
today will live to age 90, and more than one in seven
will live to age 95. Social Security benefits, which last
as long as you live, provide valuable protection against
outliving savings and other sources of retirement income. Again, you'll want to choose a retirement age
based on your circumstances so you'll have enough
income when you need it.

ments during the year will be withheld.
This doesn't mean you must try to limit your
earnings. If Social Security withholds some of your
benefits because you continue to work, Social Security
pays you a higher monthly benefit when you reach
your full retirement age. So, if you work and earn
more than the exempt amount, it won't, on average,
decrease the total value of your lifetime benefits from
Social Security-and may increase them.
Here is how this works: When you reach full retirement age, Social Security will recalculate your benefit to give you credit for months you didn't get a benefit because of your earnings. In addition, as long as
you continue to work and receive benefits, we'll check
your record every year to see whether the extra earnings will increase your monthly
benefit.

If you earned more
over your lifetime

and die before your

spouse, he or she may

be eligible for a higher
survivor benefit based
on your work record.

You Can Keep Working
When you reach your full retirement age, you can
work and earn as much as you want and still get your
full Social Security benefit payment. If you're younger
than full retirement age and if your earnings exceed
certain dollar amounts, some of your benefit pay-

Don't Forget Medicare
If you plan to delay receiving
benefits because you're working,
you should still sign up for Medicare three months before reaching age 65, regardless of when
you reach full retirement age.
If you don't enroll in Medicare
medical insurance or prescription drug coverage when you're
first eligible, it can be delayed,
and you may have to pay a late
enrollment penalty for as long as
you have coverage.

Additional Resources
You can estimate benefit amounts and find more
information to help you decide when to start receiving
retirement benefits by going online to Social Security
benefits planner at www.socialsecurity.gov/planners.
When you're ready for benefits, you can apply online
at ww.socialsecurity.gov/applyforbenefits.
For additional information visit www.socialsecurity.
gov. or call toll-free, 1-800-772-1213
For Medicare information contact the Council on
Aging of Southern California HICAP at
1-800-434-0222.
Article reprinted from the Social Security Administration, SSA Publication No. 05-10147, August 2015

Council On Aging-Southern California | 714-479-0107 | www.coasc.org	 Answers Guide 2017

75

FINANCE & LEGAL

Your Decision Could
Affect Your Family
Your spouse may be eligible
for a benefit based on your work
record (Social Security reduces
spouse benefits if claimed before
the spouse's full retirement age).
If you earned more over your
lifetime and die before your
spouse, he or she may be eligible
for a higher survivor benefit
based on your work record. If
you begin receiving Social Security benefits early, Social Security
can't pay your surviving spouse
a full benefit from your record.
But, if you wait until full retirement age to get benefits, your surviving spouse-if he
or she is at least full retirement age-will get the same
benefit you would have received.
Your children may also be eligible for a benefit on
your work record if they're under age 18 or if they
have a disability that began before age 22. For them to
receive benefits, you must be getting benefits, too.


http://www.socialsecurity.gov/planners http://www.socialsecurity.gov/applyforbenefits http://www.socialsecurity.gov http://www.socialsecurity.gov http://www.coasc.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Council on Aging Answers 2017

Contents
Council on Aging Answers 2017 - Intro
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