3 Social Security Facts You Need to Know in 2015

social securityMost Americans count on Social Security to finance a part of their retirement. The following article details three things you should be aware of regarding Social Security for the coming year. Thanks for visiting Advocare. We provide medical care management, home care management, life transition care management, and life care planning for area seniors throughout South Florida. 

For the most part, Social Security is a straightforward concept. You pay taxes to the program throughout your working life, and then, upon reaching retirement age, you collect monthly benefits based in large part on the amount you paid into the system over that career.

Still, there are small shifts to the program every year, and 2015 will be no different. Let’s go over three developments to watch for in 2015 if you’re one of the millions of Americans either paying into or receiving money from Social Security.

Payment amounts and income subject to taxes are rising
In January, Social Security payments will increase 1.7% thanks to the annual cost-of-living increase, and the income limit subject to Social Security taxes increases to $118,500 from $117,500. The average monthly payment to a retiree will be $1,328, up from $1,306 prior to the adjustment.

The maximum possible Social Security benefit to a new retiree just reaching full retirement age in 2015 will also increase to $2,663 per month from $2,642 per month in 2014.

If the payments and increases seem woefully inadequate to cover your lifestyle in retirement, you’re not alone. Social Security was never designed to be your only source of income in retirement — just a foundation to be supplemented with pensions and/or personal savings.

Mailed personal statements are making a comeback (for some people)
Until 2011, Social Security mailed out annual statements telling people who weren’t collecting payments what their eventual benefits would be. Budget cuts curtailed that practice, but it’s making a partial comeback. If you are turning 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, or 60 in 2015, and you haven’t signed up for an online Social Security account, then you can expect to receive a statement this year.

The statement provides an excellent estimate of your benefit and a copy of your earnings record. If you don’t want to wait until your multiple-of-five birthday to see your statement, you can sign up online at this link.

The financial health of the program will be evaluated around April 1
Every year, the Social Security Trustees publish a report detailing the program’s stability and financial health. The report is due by April 1, but it doesn’t always get published on time. The 2014 report, for instance, was published on July 28.

Continue reading HERE.

Comments are closed.