It seems the rules and regulations surrounding Social Security are becoming more complex. And if you're getting ready to retire, you may be trying to separate the myths from the facts. We're here to set the record straight on three common Social Security myths that you need to know about before you retire.
Retirement myth #1 — If you have never worked, you won't be eligible for Social Security benefits.
- Fact: The Social Security Spousal Benefit Allows a Husband or Wife to Receive Payments Based on the Work Records of their Spouse.
If you're a non-working spouse, you may be able to receive up to 50% of the benefits from your working spouse, as calculated at their full retirement age (FRA).1 To be eligible, you must be at least 62 years old and have a spouse who is receiving or eligible for retirement or disability benefits.
Retirement myth #2 — Your Social Security benefits will be equal to how much you earned while working.
- Fact: When it is Time to Collect Your Social Security Benefits, the SSA Looks at How Much You Earned While Working, with a Focus on the Highest 35 Income Earning Years.2
Based on your earnings history, and after their calculations and adjustments, the SSA will determine your retirement benefits. So while your benefits will be determined in part on how much you earned, they'll also depend on how long you worked, inflation and at what age you begin taking your benefits.
Retirement myth #3 — I need to stop working in order to receive my Social Security benefits.
- Fact: You Can Still Receive Benefits While Working
However, if you are younger than full retirement age and earn more than the specified amount, your monthly benefits may be temporarily reduced. Once you reach full retirement age, the limits go away and you can earn as much as you want without a penalty. For more information on receiving Social Security benefits while working,3 visit the SSA Website.