We know that most of the men and women who join the armed services do not serve the full 20 years necessary to qualify for military retirement pay...so Social Security is incredibly important to their financial security in retirement. Since 1957, they have paid Social Security taxes on their military pay. Heck, even combat pay, which is income-tax free, is nicked the the Social Security tax. They've earned it; they deserve to make the most of it.
When someone applies for benefits, they are asked if they are a vet. There's a good reason for that. Social Security benefits are based on average lifetime benefits and, depending on when you served, the government might goose up that average wage for a bit for the years you were in the military.
Oh, that's a good thing to know!
Rachel, can you post a link to that great story Michelle Singletary wrote about this program...the one that appeared in the Washington Post, Boston Glove, Philadelphia Inquirer and other papers? Thanks
Here's a comment from Marshall ....
You're right. About 40% of all Americans claim as soon as possible. Lots of them clearly need the money and have no choice...but for those who have other resources, delaying can be a great investement. From age 62 to 70, beneifts increase by 76%. Try to beat that in a risk-free investment. Of course...it all depends on how long you going to live. If you're likely to live past 82 or 83, delaying can boost lifetime benefits.
Some studies have shown that it can make sense to dip deeper into your nest egg in the early years of retirement to allow your SS benefit to grow...because you'll be able to make less of a demand on your resources after those fatter checks start arriving
Kevin, how much of a difference can it make to delay in terms of lifetime benefits? Are we talking just thousands? or tens of thousands?
You know, there was a pilot project in Iowa this past summer that found that following the recommending strateties couild add an average of $170,000 to lifetime benefits, compared with claiming as early as possible at age 62 -- assuming folks lived to their projected life expectancy. The added benefits ranged for $27,000 to $305,000. The range is so wide because of the potential advantage of strategies available to married couples.
And this tool will show you exactly how much of a difference your added lifetime
benefits could be?
Yes, although the key word there is "could." That darned life expectancy is the unknown. But, based on the information users supply, the tool crunches all the numbers and comes up with a precise figure. It will show exactly how much you'll receive each year, and then total them up. There is a cool table that shows a breakeven date, too. If you delay, you're NOT collecting for awhile. So, how long will it take for the bigger checks to make up for the delay? We'll answer that question for YOU. Personalized. Customized. It's really cool.
Here's a question from Single
Oh, and did I mention that it's free for Vets all day Monday, November 11. Thanks to the generous support of Wells Fargo!
Great question and, indeed, married folks have more options and more opportunity. But I encouage single vets to use the program too. You'll learn a lot and are likely to find a way to maximize benefits. As for "tricks" for married folks, let me get personal
I’m 63 and my wife is 67. She claimed her benefit at 66 and she gets about $650 a month, having been a poorly paid teacher and teacher’s aide. I haven’t claimed yet but thanks to the program, I know that I should file at 66 . . . and immediately tell Social Security not to pay me. Why? This “file and suspend” strategy automatically makes my wife eligible to collect spousal benefits, which are equally to half of my Primary Insurance Amount. Since I’m due $2,500 a month at 66, she’ll immediately get a boost in benefits from $650 to $1,250. And, I’ll wait to restart my benefits until age 70, at which time I will have collected 4 years’ worth of delayed retirement credits. That will hike my benefit by 32%, up to $3,300 a month. That’s the kind of eye-opening information that vets can get in this free report.
Here's a question from George...
Interesting idea. When we did our poll, we asked vets who they thought they could turn to to get advice on maximizing benefits. 70% said they'd ask Social Security. But, here's the rub, Social Security employes are not allowed to give that kind of advice. They can tell you how much you;'ll get at any age, but they're not in the business of trying to figure out what's best for you. A lot of this depends on other resources. Again, if you need the money to live on at age 62, you probably aren't going to delay.
This free for a day offer is for veterans, active-duty military, and their widows and widowers. Others can purcahse a personalized report at kiplinger.socialsecuritysolutions.com. We're making this offer to veterans as a way to saluting their service to America. Kiplinger and Wells Fargo have a long tradition of serving veterans.
And this special offer is only available this
That's right...from midnight on the east coast to midnight in Hawaii. We had a call the other day for someone who asked what time that was in Japan. What a brain teaser..what with that international date line and everything!
Okay, okay, I'll tell you... 2 p.m. Monday Japan time until 7 p.m. Tuesday Japan time
We have a lot of military folks over there....
That's true. Kevin, we only have a few more minutes. Anything else that veterans need to know about this special promotion, or claiming Social Security?
Let's repeat the two key web addresses.
Go to ssa.gov to get your primary insurance amount
Then on Monday, go to socialsecurityforveterans.com to get your personalized report
Okay, great...and it's all free, right?
And, as this is our way of saying thanks to active duty and vets, I also want to say thanks again to our partners at Social Security Solutions and the folks at Wells Fargo for joining us to make this incredible tool free to Veterans on Veterans Day. That's right: Free!
Thank you, Kevin, for joining us today...
My pleasure and, one more thing. For younger folks who may be tuning it, please make sure your parents and grandparents know about this offer. And, if you know someone who doesn't have access to a computer, help 'em out or recommend they visit a public library. We want to get this info into as many hands as possible on Monday. Happy Veterans Day!