As with any other successful and long-standing program or organization, myths surround Social Security. Some of them are grounded in truth but just slightly misconstrued. Others are completely out of line with the truth. Let’s take a look at a few.
Myth 1: Social Security is just a retirement program.
Social Security is more than a retirement program. It provides benefits to retirees, survivors and people with disabilities who can no longer work.
In fact, almost 7 million disabled workers and nearly 2 million of their dependents get Social Security disability benefits. Six and a half million dependents of deceased workers (including 2 million children) get Social Security survivors’ benefits. Social Security is more than just retirement.
Myth 2: I don’t need to save because Social Security will take care of me when I’m retired.
Social Security was never intended to be a person’s sole income in retirement; it should be combined with pension income and personal savings and investments. Your Social Security statement, available at www.socialsecurity.gov.mystatement, is a great place to get an idea of what to expect during retirement. You can also visit our retirement estimator at www.socialsecurity.gov/estimator.
Myth 3: If I work after I retire, I’ll be penalized.
Once you reach your full retirement age, there is no penalty and no limit on the amount you can earn. You can determine your full retirement age by visiting www.socialsecurity.gov/retirecharted.htm. The earnings limit for workers who are younger than “full” retirement age (age 66 for people born in 1943 through 1954) is $15,120 in 2013. (We deduct $1 from benefits for each $2 earned over $15,120.) The earnings limit for people turning 66 in 2013 is $40,080. (We deduct $1 from benefits for each $3 earned over $40,080 until the month the worker turns age 66.)
Keep in mind that if we withhold some of your benefits because of work, we will re-compute your monthly benefit amount when you reach full retirement age to account for those months that we withheld your benefit. There is no limit on earnings for workers who are full retirement age or older for the entire year.
Myth 4: To apply for benefits or do business with Social Security, I need to go to an office.
Not only is this false, but we encourage you to do business with us the most convenient and fastest way: at www.socialsecurity.gov. At our website, you can apply for benefits, use our retirement planner, get an estimate of your benefits, request a replacement Medicare card and much more. You’ll find it all — along with answers to your questions — at www.socialsecurity.gov.
Charo Boyd is Social Security public affairs specialist for east central Indiana. Her column appears every other Monday on the Business page.
- Local Business
Work begins on new Ivy Tech facility
Motorists driving on East 60th Street near Columbus Avenue will notice heavy machinery working in preparation for a new educational facility in Anderson.
- 'Big Joe' Clark: Understanding the risks within fixed income investments Many retirees associate the concept of taking “risk” with the equity markets. However, as 2013 demonstrated, there is also principal risk in the fixed income arena if an untimely liquidation requires you to sell bonds and generate income.
- Heating assistance provided to 4,445 households Almost 5,000 households in Madison and Grant counties received assistance this past winter with their heating bills, members of the Central Indiana Community Action Program learned this week.
- Lapel obtains required number The Lapel Town Council finally has enough votes to move forward with its voluntary annexation of land south of the town.
- Educators, agribusiness leaders discuss careers Citing approximately 55,000 new jobs being created annually in agribusiness, U.S. Rep. Susan Brooks brought educators and business leaders together to encourage students to consider it as a career path.
Anderson collects nearly $67,000 in bad debt
The city of Anderson collected almost $67,000 in bad debts owed to the four utility departments in March.
AU students giving back to community
For the past five years Anderson University students have been sprucing up the city through the Operation Foundation program.
- Commissioners vote to eliminate Personnel Board Madison County commissioners have decided to end the county’s Personnel Board.
Indianapolis-San Francisco flights have good start
New nonstop flights between Indianapolis and San Francisco have been filling up with passengers during their first months in the air.
- County to provide emergency texts Since the 1950s most communities relied on the old air raid sirens to warn residents of threatening weather, but Madison County is in the process of adapting new technology.
- More Local Business Headlines
- Work begins on new Ivy Tech facility