Ask Larry

Benefit Amount

Are Only The Earnings That I Had Up Until Full Retirement Age Used To Calculate My Benefit Rate?

I have always been bothered because I don't believe my 4 highest years of earnings (from the time I was 67 until I retired at 70) were calculated into my final retirement benefits. When I would review each year what my projected benefit amount would be, I still hadn't earned my four highest salaries. And the amount that was projected before my highest earnings were paid into SSA, was what I eventually received. I continue to read that a person's benefit amount is based on their highest earnings but yet mine is not.

Sunday, August 28, 2022 - 18:41

If I Take Widow's Benefits Will It Impact My Own Benefit That I Intend To Take At Age 70?

If I (age 67) take a widows benefit now, which is lower than my benefit, will this impact my benefit which I had not planned to take until age 70? Thank you

Hi. No. Collecting widow's benefits prior to claiming your own Social Security retirement benefits has no adverse effect on your retirement benefit rate.

Best, Jerry

Wednesday, August 17, 2022 - 15:58

Will I Still Get A Spousal Benefit When I Apply For My Own Benefits?

My SS statement shows 2 accounts. My spousal benefits and my own account. The 2 add up to what my account alone should total. After I apply for my benefits at age 70, will I still get the spousal benefit as well as my own or will it all be consideredy own benefit? Getting $1500 spousal benefit,. my own should be $5000, but is showing $3500.

Wednesday, August 10, 2022 - 20:08

Shouldn't My Benefit Rate Be Higher?

COLA Applied: Larry thanks for responding to my question from this morning; however, the issue I have is that my benefits estimate does not reflect any COLA increases from when I turned 62 Nov 2020 to this year. Example last year I made 3K more in income and my annual update was only $8.00 per month for my benefits estimate in Feb of this year. Hardly the 5.9% COLA from 2021 ! Per the SSA site they send out a COLA update message every year and I have never received any such message to my SSA account. I hope they add in the COLA when I receive my benefits letter.

Wednesday, August 10, 2022 - 17:11

Will The Income I Receive From Owning A Business Hurt The Amount I Get Or Penalize Me?

i will be turning 70 nov 30 husband and i still own businesses..will this hurt my amount that i get or will i be pentlized for still receiving income

Hi. No. The fact that you own a business certainly won't have any adverse effect on your ability to collect benefits, nor will it reduce your benefit rate. There's no limit on the amount of earnings or income that a person can have and still be able to collect all of their benefits once they reach full retirement age (FRA).

Wednesday, July 6, 2022 - 11:56

Can You Shed Some Light On Why My Benefit Rate Was Reduced?

Hello, I started receiving my Divorced Spouse Survivors Benefit in November 2020 at age 61. My monthly benefit increased 1.3% in January 2021 and 5.9% in January 2022. Last month, June 2022, I received a letter stating "my prior amount" was incorrect and my monthly benefit has been reduced back to my 2021 monthly benefit amount and my "overpayment of $810" waived because it wasn't my fault. This change rescinds my 2022 COLA.

Tuesday, July 5, 2022 - 12:52

If I File At Age 70 Shouldn't I Expect To Receive The Maximum Benefit Amount?

I intend to file for social security when I turn 70 in December 2022. I retired in 2015. I have contributed the maximum contribution for social security during my working years from 1977 through 2015 - 39 years . Should I not expect the maximum social security of $4,190 when I turn 70 ? When I inquired with social security they provided me an estimate that was $4,090 which is $100 per month less than the max . I understand it is an estimate but upon formally applying for social security , should I expect to receive the max of $4190.

Thursday, May 26, 2022 - 13:36
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