There have been some changes to Social Security, and there will be more over the next few years. People saw a rise in the amount they receive each month due to the cost of living increase (COLA). This is tied to inflation, and with the rising cost of goods, benefits needed to increase too.
Without the government taking into account things like the cost of living, the older population would find it hard to afford basic needs. The increase is 2.8% which is certainly significant.
The COLA isn’t the only change that happened in 2019. The full retirement age is increasing as well. The SSA is increasing the full retirement age by two months every year until it gets to 67. As of 2019, full retirement is 66 and 4 months for Americans who were 62 in 2018. If you turn 62 this year, your full retirement age is now 66 and 6 months.
Keep in mind that if you delay taking your Social Security past your full retirement age, you stand to get a whole lot more each month. If you can wait until you get to age 70, you receive a 76% higher annual payout than if you started receiving benefits at 62!
There has also been a slight rise in disability benefits due to COLA. The Social Security Administration applies this automatically if you claim a disability benefit. If you are concerned about the amount you receive, be sure to get professional advice.
Another welcome change is the amount you are allowed to earn before your benefits get reduced if you’re getting a Social Security check before the age of 70. The 2017 limit was $16,920. In 2019 you can earn up to $17,640 and still are eligible to receive all your Social Security benefits, even if you’re not yet at full retirement age.
Making sure you are aware of all the changes to Social Security is very important, especially if you are nearing retirement. If you are now in your 60’s, you should be thinking about any way you can to ensure your later years are comfortable. Taking advantage of the benefits available to you is one way to do that.
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