I've Been Paying For Years, So How Much Social Security Will I Receive

Posted by Elliot Marks

Workers desire to have a comfortable income during their retirement. Individuals must consider the social security income they receive from the Social Security Administration, the amount of money they have saved, and their investments to determine how they will live during their retirements. There are many factors that can impact the social security that a person receives during their retirement.

The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 included changes in the Social Security laws about the retirement benefits that spouses received. Spouses receive income while they wait to receive their own benefits. This allows people to collect retirement income as a spouse while their partner continues to work until they maximize their retirement income at age 70.

There are considerations for employees to think about if they want to continue working. Employees need to consider when they want to take their social security retirement benefits. If an individual retires early before full retirement age and claims their benefits, they will receive a lower benefit. Their benefits will be reduced based on the number of months there are until they reach full retirement age. By delaying collecting social security retirement benefits, an individual can collect more benefits if their income increases because they base the benefits on the highest 35 years of income earned.

Employee income while receiving SSA

If someone continues to work their retirement benefit will decrease if they earn more than $18,200 for 2020. If someone has not reached full retirement age during an entire year, the SSA reduces the benefit by $1 for every $2 they earn in income above $18,200.

For individuals who reach full retirement age, the SSA will deduct $1 for every $3 they earn over $48,6000 in 2020.

After retirement

When an individual reaches retirement age, the SSA recalculates the benefits. The SSA provides workers with a credit for each month they did not receive benefits. If there are any increases in benefits, they will notify workers of their new benefit amount.

This means that if an employee had an income that reduced their benefits while they were working, this amount could cause an increase in benefits after they reach full retirement age.

If an employee does not receive retirement benefits until they reach full retirement age, they may receive a benefit for postponing the benefits they received. If individuals continue to work after full retirement age, there is no limit on the income they can earn.

What are the Social Security family benefits?

Family benefits

If someone retires, a family may be entitled to receive benefits based on their incomes. A spouse and children may collect social security benefits that equal half of the workers' social security benefit amount. These family payments do not reduce the amount that the worker receives in retirement benefits. The total compensation that a family receives may help someone decide if they are ready to retire and collect benefits.

Social Security Benefit Eligibility

It's important to make sure that you're eligible for Social Security retirement benefits. The following guide will help you determine whether you qualify.

Social Security Eligibility

Current spouse benefits

If a spouse qualifies for benefits, they will receive them even if they did not have a job. A working spouse receives social security benefits based on their own employment first and then receives the difference between their spouse's account so that their retirement benefits equal the highest amount. If a spouse receives retirement benefits prior to full retirement age, they will receive a reduced benefit based on the months until they reach full retirement age. If a spouse collects retirement benefits when they reach full retirement age on their spouse's account, they will only receive half of the spouse's retirement account benefits.

Children benefits

Children collecting retirement benefits can only collect until they turn age 19, complete 12th grade, and remain unmarried. If the worker has a disabled child, the child can collect benefits if the disability occurred before age 22.

If a child works and collects benefits on a parent’s work history, the child’s payment would be reduced. The income deductions would be like the parents who work and collect social security benefits.

What are the Social Security former spouse benefits?

Former spouse’s benefits

A divorced person may collect social security based on their former spouse's account. If the marriage was at least 10 years and this former spouse did not remarry, they can collect retirement benefits if the spouse earned social security credits. It entitles a former spouse to receive a benefit that is half the size of their former spouse’s benefit amount. The ex-spouse needs to decide if they will collect retirement on the account at age 62 or at full retirement age.

Social security benefits that a former spouse gets does not impact the account of a worker and their current spouse. The former spouse can collect on their own social security account and the difference would equal the difference they would receive from the former spouse's earnings. Income that is earned from a job or government pensions would factor in and may reduce the money that the former spouse receives. This means that if a former spouse did not have an income they would collect the 50 % spouse account amount even if their former spouse remarried. The current spouse can still collect benefits if they qualify based on the amount of time they are married when they collect benefits. Learn more about social security here!

Elliot Marks

Elliot Marks

Author & Social Security Advisor

Elliot Marks has spent over 10 years providing clear and concise information to help Americans navigate the complex nuances of social security and many other government services in the United States. Elliot has a passion for helping those in need of these services to be able to find timely access to news and information that is relevant and helpful to their daily lives.