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
- Staying strong during adversity When doctors told Judy Best she had cancer she was shocked, but she never lost hope.
Scholarship recipients relish parade acknowledgement
Taylor Jennings and Shelby Farmer took their last stroll around their hometown Sunday. At least, their last before starting college in the fall.
- Senior housing sought for Madison Park A senior housing development proposed almost six months ago for the Madison Park Church of God property is now moving forward.
- Jesse Wilkerson: Unplug to reconnect I am inspired and influenced by people in our community who are creating a legacy of service. These people have disconnected long enough to realize there is more to their life than their job or personal success.
Brouhaha over cold beer
Warm beer lines the shelves inside the Ricker’s BP on Eighth Street less than a foot from a refrigerated section, but the convenience store is not planning to move the beer anytime soon. That’s because a state law prohibits Ricker’s from selling cold beer to customers.
- Business Profile: Cycle shop owners fix-ated on power sport equipment When Mark Hains and Michael Palmieri opened a service and repair shop for power sport equipment, they were prepared to heavily invest in their dreams.
- Business People: July 20 A compilation of news items featuring members of the Madison County business community.
- 'Big Joe' Clark: Who’s helping support the U.S. housing market? Recently we have heard chatter of foreign investment in our country and that seems to concern inquiring minds. Apparently some minds are especially concerned when the buyers are from China.
- Inventory, prices down, sales up in monthly housing report Standing in his new backyard, Adam Souder said his first home is a big improvement over his former rental. “We have more room than we know what to do with it,” he said.
Sessions planned to discuss Mounds Lake project
Public meetings to discuss Phase II feasibility findings for the proposed Mounds Lake Reservoir will be held in four central Indiana communities next month.
- More Local Business Headlines