By: Sahil Luthra
Social Security payment amount is determined by how much you earn while working and when you elect to start receiving payments.
Each additional year of work, even after retirement, could increase your future payments if you now earn more than you did earlier in your career.
The amount of earnings subject to Social Security tax is adjusted each year to keep up with changes in average wages.
Social Security monthly benefits are reduced if you start payments before your full retirement age.
You will accrue delayed retirement credits that will boost your monthly benefit by 8% for each year of delay between your full retirement age and age 70.
Social Security beneficiaries who are between full retirement age and age 70 can suspend Social Security payments and earn delayed retirement credits.
You would also need to pay back any portion of your Social Security benefit that was withheld for Social Security taxes and Medicare premiums.
Married individuals are eligible to claim Social Security payments worth up to 50% of their spouse's benefits.
Married couples can increase the Social Security benefit the surviving spouse will receive by having the higher earner delay claiming Social Security.
The children of a deceased worker can qualify for payments until they turn age 18 or 19 while a full-time high school student.
The most effective Social Security claiming strategy for you depends on how long you will live.
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