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Social Security: By the Numbers

As Social Security remains on the minds of people close to retirement, here at Centric Capital, we can help you with some of your decisions regarding Social Security.

Social Security has been a fact of retirement life since 1935. Here are 5 facts that might surprise you:

The Social Security trust fund exceeds the gross domestic product (GDP) of every country in the world except the 7 largest.

  1. It’s a major source of retirement income for over 70% of Americans.
  2. Benefits are subject to federal income taxes, but it wasn’t always that way. The 1983 Amendments to the Social Security Act made these benefits taxable.
  3. Benefits are determined by your average earnings during a lifetime of work based on the highest 35 years of earnings.
  4. There haven’t always been Cost of Living Adjustments. Before 1975, increasing benefits required an act of Congress. Now, they can happen automatically.

When should you begin taking social security? That may depend on several factors but over 75% of people opt for early benefits which start at age 62. But there is a big difference between age 62 and age 70. You may receive over $1,000,000 in benefits so deciding when and how to take the income is a critical decision.

Most importantly, 2016 will be the last year that you can “file and suspend.” This is when one can file for their own retirement benefits and then suspend receipt of them until age 70, earning delayed retirement credits until that time and allowing their spouse to claim spousal benefits.

Please feel free to download our whitepaper to learn more and if you feel inclined, we would be happy to set up a consultation to help and explain more.