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Social Security: Pay attention or risk losing $1000s in Social Security benefits

Millions of Americans collect Social Security each month, meaning there is time for inaccurate information to spread.

social security card with cash representing social security benefits

It’s important to educate yourself each year when it comes to Social Security.

This is to be sure you aren’t making decisions based on myths or misinformation that made its way through the internet.

Misinformation is actually so common there are legitimate myths that spread as “facts.”

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Here are 5 pieces of misinformation on Social Security benefits you need to be aware of

Your full retirement age is 65 for Social Security benefits

The piece of information saying that your FRA is 65 is untrue.

This used to be true.

In 1935 when Social Security was created, the age was set at 65.

This changed in 1983 when a law was passed making the age rise over time due to longer lifespans.

The FRA started being raised for those born in 1938.

This means today, anyone retiring will reach their FRA between ages 66 and 67, depending on their month and year of birth.

FRA is not one set age and differs from person to person.


If you claim Social Security early your benefits will continue to grow

This myth tells people that if they claim benefits early, they will continue to increase over time.

This is not true.

Once you claim early, that amount stays the same for the rest of your life.

If you wait to claim, the amount will increase.

This means you need to weigh your options and decide yourself if claiming earlier or later is a good idea.


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Social Security benefits are enough to survive on

While the maximum benefit for 2022 is over $4,000, very few people receive that and it is not as high as your previous salary.

Social Security was designed to cover only 40% of your income.

This means you’re responsible for a savings or retirement plan to make up for the rest.

A chunk of your Social Security benefits will also go toward healthcare.


Everyone can get benefits

The myth that everyone is entitled to benefits is untrue.

You receive benefits based on what you’ve worked.

In order to get more benefits, you need to have worked a full 35 years.

Any years resulting in zero dollars will bring your benefits down.

If you did not work at all, then you will not get benefits at all.


Your ex’s can’t get your benefits

For many people who are divorced, they believe their ex’s are no longer entitled to their benefits.

This is not always true.

If the following criteria are met, your ex spouse may collect benefits:

The marriage was 10 or more years

Your ex is still unmarried

Your ex is 62 or older

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