Overview

  • Understand the latest funding projections from the Social Security Board of Trustees.
  • Determine if you qualify for any Social Security benefits now due to special circumstances.
  • Discuss your collection strategy with your spouse and other family members.

What will Social Security be when you retire?

The short answer – no one knows. According to the 2013 annual report from the Social Security Board of Trustees, the Social Security Administration currently has the funding to pay out full benefits through 2033. After that time, they are projecting that, under current circumstances, they will only be able to pay out 75% of scheduled benefits.

Basically, they are predicting that Social Security retirement benefits will be around in some form at least through 2086. But we don't have a crystal ball. We don't know what, if any, changes will be made to Social Security legislation between now and when you retire. And we can't guarantee that even if Social Security is around that YOU will be eligible for benefits.

Are there Social Security benefits you may be eligible for now?

Often younger individuals are surprised that they are eligible for Social Security benefits even if they are not disabled. When one person in a family is eligible for Social Security retirement or disability benefits, other family members, including younger spouses and children, may also qualify for benefits.

If your spouse is older, disabled or has passed away and you have a child, you and your child may be eligible for family benefits based on your spouse's benefits. The table below summarizes what benefits you and your child may qualify for.

 

Your Spouse is Collecting Social Security Benefits Your Spouse Has Passed
Your Child is under age 16 or Disabled Before Age  22 You: 50% of your spouse's primary insurance amount (amount he/she is eligible for at full retirment age)*
Your Child: 50% of your spouse's primary insurance amount*
You: 100% of survivor benefit (read Survivor Benefits: The Hidden Cost of Early Collection for more information)*
Your Child: 75% of your spouse's primary insurance amount*
Your Child is Age 16 or 17(or 18 if still in high school) You: None unless you otherwise qualify
Your Child: 50% of your spouse's primary insurance amount*
You: None unless you otherwise qualify
Your Child: 75% of your spouse's primary insurance amount*

Social Security Administration. *Subject to your spouse's maximum family benefit, the maximum monthly amount that can be paid on an individual's earnings record to all members of the family.

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USR-3533