Weekend Reading: Let's Bust These Five Social Security Myths

This article appears as part of Casey Weade's Weekend Reading for Retirees series. Every Friday, Casey highlights four hand-picked articles on trending retirement topics and delivers them straight to your email inbox. Get on the list here.
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Weekend Reading

Thoroughly understanding your Social Security benefits is complicated. With the rules and regulations being far from straightforward, maximizing your filing strategy might seem difficult to navigate as well.


However, the good news is you have resources such as this article to help educate you on how to make the most of your benefits. In that light, some of the most noteworthy Social Security myths you should be aware of include:

📌 Social Security benefits come without taxes or deductions: Roughly 40 percent of Social Security recipients must pay income tax, but there are income limits in place which determine who pays income tax on benefits, as well as what portion of the benefits they will pay taxes on.

📌 There’s no “do over” with filing: If you file for benefits then change your mind, you can withdraw your applicationwithin 12 months of collecting. However, you can only do this once and are obligated to repay what you collected.

📌 You must be retired (not working) to collect benefits: There is an annual earnings limit in place if you are under full retirement age (currently $19,560), but once you reach full retirement age, there is no limit or penalty for earning income.

📌 When a spouse dies, the widowed spouse is eligible for a survivor’s benefit and their own benefit: You are not allowed two benefits, just one or the other, and many factors can come into play when determining which to take.

Bottom line: You don’t need to memorize or even study Social Security to come to the right decision. Instead, work with a qualified professional that can leverage software to ensure nothing is missed.