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What You Need to Know About Social Security Benefits

By Kenton Koszdin Law Office on November 17, 2014 | In Social Security Claims Process

Most Americans rely on Social Security benefits once they retire. It is a vital source of income for individuals who no longer work. Individuals who are disabled can seek benefits before retirement, but in general, the earliest age someone can file for Social Security is 62. However, it is not advisable to pursue Social Security benefits as soon as they become available. If your full retirement age is 66 and you file at 62, your benefits will be permanently reduced 25 percent. If your retirement age is 67 and you file as soon as possible, your benefits will be reduced 30 percent.

Individuals are only eligible for 100 percent of their personal benefits at their full retirement age. Full retirement is 66 for individuals born between 1943 and 1954, 66 years and two months for those born between 1955 and 1960 and 67 for everyone else. If you are approaching retirement age, try to wait until full retirement so that your benefits are not reduced.

Of course, every situation is different. You may not be able to wait until your full retirement age. Perhaps you lost your job or are unable to return to work at full capacity and need your social security benefits now. Choosing the right claiming strategy for you and your family can prove challenging and your choice could have a significant impact on your future.

Individuals who are healthy and who expect to live beyond the age of 80 are encouraged to put off filing for benefits as long as possible. Those who are experiencing declining health, however, may be better off claiming benefits early to get the support they need right away. If you choose to file for benefits, it is important that you know that social security benefits are taxable. If you receive income through wages or investments, you will likely face taxes on your benefits.

There are many important factors to consider before making any decisions regarding social security benefits. Make sure you seek the counsel of an experienced Van Nuys social security lawyer before making a choice that affect you and your family for years to come.

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