The Essentials of Understanding Social Security Benefits
You will find Social Security in the Retirement Planning section of the Universe of Financial Planning as a single item under Supplemental Benefits. Although it is only one item among over 150, it is one of the foundations of retirement income planning that is surrounded with complexities and rule sets that almost defy description. To explain all the rules to Social Security staff member, the Program Operations Manual (POMS) includes over 20,000 pages.
REDW Wealth Senior Financial Planner David Cechanowicz JD, MSFS, EA, AEP®, CLU®, CHFC®, a nationally recognized expert on claiming Social Security retirement benefits, answers your questions in this hands-on video series Social Security Basics, addressing topics such as:
- Eligibility for benefits
- Spousal Benefits
- Survivor Benefits (Widow and Widower)
- Grandparent Benefits
- Working and collecting Social Security
- The effect of claiming early
- The effect of claiming late
- How should Married couples claim their benefits?
- How your year of birth affects claiming rules
- Benefits for adopted children/grandchildren
- How is your benefit calculated?
- How does working longer affect your benefit?
- What benefits are available to divorced individuals
- What happens to my benefits if I have a government pension?
- What does the SSA need to process a claim?
- What is the Family Maximum
- How are Social Security benefits taxed?
- How does other income affect Social Security Benefits?
To become eligible for social security benefits, you must work with an employer who participates in the Social Security system under covered employment. You become eligible once you have acquired sufficient work credits, generally equivalent to 10 years of employment.
Some government entities may elect not to participate in the Social Security system. Those employees, like school teachers, firefighters, and police officers, are often covered or are eligible for a government pension or another benefit.
Before 2022 credits were based on quarters of work; now, credits are based upon the amount of money you earn in a year. One 2022 credit equals $1,510 in earnings, and forty credits of work are required to be eligible for Social Security and Medicare. You can earn a maximum of four credits in a year, and each year, the earnings amount changes.
In this hands-on video series, “Understanding Social Security,” Senior Financial Planner David Cechanowicz, guides you through the “primary insurance amount” bend points, how it’s computed in determining your social security retirement benefit, and why. He will also walk you through when the PIA is calculated and why it’s such a pivotal number in the social security system.