10 Things You Must Know About Social Security

Social Security cardBy Rachel L. Sheedy, Managing Editor, Kiplinger's Retirement Report

For many Americans, Social Security benefits are the bedrock of retirement income. Yet future retirees could find themselves on shaky ground. The Social Security Board of Trustees, in its latest annual report, estimated that the retirement program would only be able to pay out 75% of scheduled benefits starting in 2033, three years earlier than projected last year.

You can't control how the government might fix that problem. But you can educate yourself about Social Security to ensure that you claim the maximum amount of benefits to which you are entitled. Here are 10 essentials you need to know.

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Weather you draw your benefits at age 62 or wait until yout 66, the final amount of benefits you have drawn is the same up to the age of 78. It is only after that age that you begun to lose for drawing your SS eaarly. If your family does not have a life span that extends into the 80's and 90's , then why not draw early, you cannot will them to anyone.

December 08 2013 at 10:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The government needs to return our money to our Social Security Fund, which they took and replaced with I.O.U.'s. They have been very careful with their retirement money however they have had no problem taking and spending ours on their Pet Projects. President L.B.J., told the American people that there was so much money in our S.S., fund that it could NEVER BE - DEPLETED !! Congress allowed themselves to engage in Insider Trading, while they would have put their fellow Americans in jail for doing the very same thing. It is now time for them to return our money to our Social Security Fund. With respect: President Obama likewise needs to return the over Seven Hundred Billion Dollars he took from our Medicare Fund, to help fund his "Obama Care". Those in government have no problem taking our money however they never think of touching their's. Where is the fairness they are always talking about? Harry Reid is worth over one hundred million dollars, Nancy Pelosi is a multimillionaire likewise the Republicans. When will the American People have their turn at justice?

January 26 2013 at 5:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

what happen to those two years without an increase in S S. Guess they had better things to do with that money.

December 17 2012 at 7:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Regarding suggestion number 8: Retire and suspend to allow your spouse to collect the spousal benefit.

I just talk to SS administration representative and she said that this is not possible. Once the primary benefit is suspended the spousal is also suspended.

Anyone know who's correct?

December 03 2012 at 3:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Whoever wrote this article is living in la la land. In 2014 soc sec goes into the red.

It went into the red in 2010. The only reason it reports a surplus for the past few years is that the "interest" it collects from the treasury has been slightly larger than its current accounts shortfall. However, it makes little difference if the treasury is paying "interest", "redeeming IOUs" or simply making payments to SSA.

The point is that current payroll taxes are less than current benefit payments.

December 03 2012 at 1:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


"The government needs to keep its hands out of the Social Security money. It is widely known that the funds are borrowed and not replaced. This is the people's money. It is a solid fund." -Candodan

Agree all you want, it doesn't make the comment any less stupid. The SS Trust Fund is AND ALWAYS HAS BEEN, an accounting metric. It was never intended to be a stand-alone fund. For that matter, it couldn't be even if it was designed to be, because the US government cannot "save" money, for the simple reason that the money is nothing more than promises from the government.

I am sorry, but the reality is this: the american people have been lied to by their leaders. And its been leaders on both sides. They have gotten away with it because the vast majority of americans have let them get away with it. The fact that someone can say something this fundamentally wrong, AND GET SOMEONE ELSE TO AGREE WITH IT, proves the point.

December 03 2012 at 12:54 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

This is, I'm sorry to say, yet another arena where LBGT people in long-term relationships are discriminated against in the U.S. I happen to be in an LT same-sex elationship for 35 years now, but it counts for nothing as far as SS and inheritence is concerned. How can anyone in this country defend this practice?
I am not defending the practice. However, in a nutshell, you are saying "I deserve to be paid for the work done by my partner". And maybe, on a moral equivalency basis, you should be.

However, we don't have the luxury of engaging in these sort of stupid equivalencies anymore. The country is broke. You knew you weren't going to get SS for your partner. Fair or unfair, deal with it.

December 03 2012 at 12:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

and you can prove you collect more than you invested ? i did not no this and would like to know how!

First off, no one "invests" anything in SS. Its a pay as you go system. Your payments today go to a beneficiary today. In return, you get a promised benefit in the future.

Second, yes, the "average" person that collects SS will collect far more in benefits than they ever paid in, even after adjusting for inflation. An average person retiring at 65 will have paid out roughly $345K in payroll taxes (in 2010 dollars), but a man will receive closer to $415K in benefits before he dies. For a woman (who, on average, live longer) the total benefits are closer to $475K. Of course, for a married couple with one wage earner (the historical norm in this country), the disparity is even greater. They paid in the same $345K, but collectively, they will get closer to $775K in benefits.

Of course, you knew this. If the system wasn't paying out more in benefits than it was taking in, it wouldn't be massively broke. The nation's collective liabliity for SS and Medicare is estimated to be more $100 TRILLION over the next 75 years. Payroll taxes will cover only a small fraction of that number.

December 03 2012 at 12:45 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

If the founding fathers saw our country today..... they would call for an all out revolution. Our constitution says only gold and silver will be legal tender.... well.... today we use monopoly money backed by nothing but the promise of the government to pay it. That is why China and Japan are not buying our treasury bonds anymore... they know we are not going to pay them the trillions we owe them. The fed is buying the treasury bonds at around 6o billion a month. Soon the fed will stop buying them and then interest rates will go up. That will be the kiss of death for the ecoomy. Qe 1 2 3 4 5 does nothing but devalue our money... soon it will be totally worthless. When the dollar finally crashes and america can't pay its debt... they will devalue the dollar.... our money will be worthless..... well.... that is if you think it is ok to pay 5O dollars for a gallon of milk.... because that is what it will be or maybe ever highter ... due to hyperinflation. In zimbabway... an egg costs around 1 million dollars.... that is because their money is worthless....
Look wut the crooks and lobyists and illuminate have done to our great country. Our founding fathers would probably take them all out and hang them. ... America was a great great country.... We the people.... where have we gone?

December 02 2012 at 8:53 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

We are doomed

December 01 2012 at 11:28 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply