15 Replies Latest reply on Sep 11, 2012 10:24 AM by Bett

    SS Income limits?

    Keithb
      I understand that, if I am not at full retirement age, my income is limited to about $14k to avoid penalties on ss benefits. Does my wife's income have any effect on the limit?  She will continue to work for at least a few years after I retire next year at 62. Is there a limit on household income when only one person receives SS benefits?
        • Re: SS Income limits?
          Chrysalis
          I have never heard of a spouse's income being counted against your social security. As a matter of fact, a few people have posted here that they could bank or invest their entire monthly benefit because their working spouse's income was enough to cover their ordinary living expenses.
            • Re: SS Income limits?
              Keithb
              Crysalis said...
              I have never heard of a spouse\'s income being counted against your social security. As a matter of fact, a few people have posted here that they could bank or invest their entire monthly benefit because their working spouse\'s income was enough to cover their ordinary living expenses.
              Thank you .......  happy to hear that.
                • Re: SS Income limits?
                  rockinm
                  I understand that you can make the $14000 before penalty, what is the penatly?  Say your gross income is $40000 and you want to apply for early SS, just to get in the system.  If I understand correctly, you will not collect benefits at all, but are at least in the SS system.  Can anyone clarify this for me?
                  • Re: SS Income limits?
                    jocee
                    There are some issues here about applying for SS while you are still working. 

                     First of all you will be locking ino a lower SS payment for the rest of your life.  If you waited to collect, your additional contributions and your additional age would give you more monthly income. 
                     
                    Yes, if you continue to work some of your SS monthly will be deducted.  Not sure what the rate is but the more your earn at your job, the less SS you get per month on an already reduced payment. 
                     
                    Here is the biggie:  TAXES !!!   Social Security payments CAN be taxable income if you earn wages, interest, or receive pensions beyond a certain amount.  If you and your spouse fill "married jointly", up to 85% of your SS payments can be taxed as ordinary income if your combined income & interest is over $32,000 (IRS pub 17/2011).  If you and your spouse file "married separate" - 85% of your SS benefits will be taxed as ordinary income regardless of how much you made on your job.
                     
                    Unless you NEED to take SS early, I don't see any upside to taking a lower benefit, losing some of the lower benefit and being hit by additional taxes.   
                      • Re: SS Income limits?
                        4moryears
                        When you take SS after your eligibility date, you get 8% per year increase. Another reason to wait.
                          • Re: SS Income limits?
                            ladyjustice
                            To me, the Social Security System is a run away train, waiting to crash at any minute.
                             
                            It is a good thing if you can wait for your eligibility date to receive these benefits, however, it doesn't look like there will be any benefits to receive.
                             
                            I want to control my own dollars that I have worked for and personally put into this system. The age for eligibility keep getting longer and longer.
                             
                            This is another picture that is just not clear to me about my money.
                             
                            Thank you sharing!
                            LadyJ
                              • Re: SS Income limits?
                                JerryD
                                I don't think that SS is in that bad shape and believe that the GOV will keep it going by new taxes. IMO Medicare is another matter and needs serious help.
                                  • Re: SS Income limits?
                                    ladyjustice
                                    You have made a Good About SS. Medicare is one that we need to Blog about because you right again, it really does need some serious help.
                                     
                                    I can't believe that you have to pay more for these benefits as you get older. Do you agree that something is wrong with this picture?
                                      • Re: SS Income limits?
                                        JerryD
                                        The reality is that older people cost more, a lot more, for health care. The thing that disturbs me is that our political reps did not face up to this when writing the bills. The more I learn about these matters the more I believe they are devious to the point of deceit for fear of having to either explain the real cost or the fight with the opposition to get the law right. It is also possible that they think that we are stupid and won't find out the facts until they have long retired which seems to be proving true.
                              • Re: SS Income limits?
                                ADAPTMT
                                Hi,
                                 
                                You may want to check out http://ssa.gov/mystatement/. SSA has a new feature on its website where you can see the following;
                                     
                                • Estimates of the retirement and disability benefits you may receive;
                                •    
                                • Estimates of benefits your family may get when you receive Social Security or die;
                                •    
                                • A list of your lifetime earnings according to Social Security’s records;
                                •    
                                • The estimated Social Security and Medicare taxes you’ve paid;
                                •    
                                • Information about qualifying and signing up for Medicare;
                                •    
                                • Things to consider for those age 55 and older who are thinking of retiring;
                                •    
                                • General information about Social Security for everyone;
                                •    
                                • The opportunity to apply online for retirement and disability benefits; and
                                •    
                                • A printable version of your Social Security Statement.
                                 For anyone who is able to work until age 70, that is the age where your SS retirement benefits max out.Starting benefits at age 70 will give you the largest monthly check for all the years you have left, which may be 20-25 or more given the greatly increased life expectancy since Social security started in 1935.
                                 
                                66 is the current full retirement age, for full benefits, but your benefits can continue to increase up to age 70. If you take early retirement, your benefits are reduced.The link above will give you all that information.
                            • Re: SS Income limits?
                              gfarns
                              I don't understand how much my ss will be reduced because I draw an annuity from my Texas Teacher's Retirement.  I have paid in more than my 40 quarters, but I also taught in public schools in Texas for years-and didn't pay ss.  Advice?
                                • Re: SS Income limits?
                                  denne43
                                  gfarns said...
                                  I don\'t understand how much my ss will be reduced because I draw an annuity from my Texas Teacher\'s Retirement.  I have paid in more than my 40 quarters, but I also taught in public schools in Texas for years-and didn\'t pay ss.  Advice?
                                  A lot of teachers have that problem - in their states.  CA for one.  I think it is a shame and totally unfair.  Where was the union's head when this scheme was thought up?? 
                                   
                                  The problem is - we don't think about retirement until it is too late!
                                   
                                  Good luck, but I have heard others cannot get it for the same reason.  You might see if you can get a piece of your husband's...
                                   
                                  • Re: SS Income limits?
                                    parctop
                                    Hello!
                                     
                                    I worked in the public schools in Ohio and did not contribute to SS but I too had more than 40 quarters. In order not to have your SS reduced, one had to be eligible to retire from teaching by Dec. 31, 1986 (which my husband did). I retired from the public schools in Ohio and taught at a State university for 19 years. When I turned 65&2mos. (the full retirement age then) I got SS as well as my state pension. At the beginning I got about 40% of the full benefit. Once I had "significant earnings"  for 20 years each year my benefit improved by about 5%. I just retired from the university.
                                     
                                    Based on my experience I suggest making an appointment with SS and go to the nearest SS office and ask for a complete history
                                    of your account to see how many years of "significant" earnings 
                                    you have. This situation is known as the Pension Offset in SS language (or Windfall Profit Offset)
                                     
                                    Parctop
                                     
                                     
                                    • Re: SS Income limits?
                                      Bett
                                      I am a teacher in MA and my pension from that state will reduce my SS earnings considerably. Call SS and they will figure it out for you.