Social Security Retirement Benefits

Social Security Retirement Benefits

Whether you are a new retiree or have been receiving social security retirement benefits for years, there are some important things to keep in mind. Some of these things include your spouse’s benefits, COLAs, early retirement, and how working during your retirement years may decrease your benefits.

Early retirement

Several studies have shown that early retirement benefits are not necessarily a boon. Although they are a good way to collect a monthly benefit, early retirees are also at a disadvantage. They are especially vulnerable to poverty and low-wage jobs. They may also be at risk for health complications.

The Social Security Administration has a system in place to reduce benefits for people who work more than 45 hours a month before their full retirement age. Benefits are reduced by 5/9 of one percent of the monthly benefit amount for each month before the normal retirement age. The full retirement age is 67 for people born in 1960.

Some people may want to retire early and continue working in other jobs. Others may choose a healthier lifestyle. Still others may not want to delay Social Security benefits.

Spousal benefits

Spousal benefits as part of social security retirement benefits are available to qualified taxpayers. It’s important to know your options when it comes to claiming benefits. These benefits can be claimed as early as age 62. However, there are certain guidelines to follow to maximize your payout.

For most people, the full retirement age is 66 or 67. However, the age varies based on the year of birth. If your spouse is born before Jan. 2, 1954, you may be able to delay your own benefit until he or she is 70 years old.

Traditionally, spousal benefits were higher than the benefit you receive as a worker. This was achieved by a strategy called “file and suspend” where you could delay filing for your own benefit until your spouse was ready. You would then receive a higher benefit based on your own work history.


Those receiving Social Security retirement benefits are aware of the annual cost of living adjustment (COLA). The COLA is intended to protect the value of Social Security benefits from rising inflation. It is calculated based on the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers. This index measures monthly price changes for a market basket of goods. The COLA is also used by Medicare beneficiaries, but there are differences in how Medicare pays for medical care.

A COLA is calculated by comparing the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners to the CPI-W of the third quarter of the previous year. For example, the CPI-W in August of 2021 was 5.8 percent more than the third quarter of 2020. The Social Security Administration estimated a 5.9% COLA for 2022.

Divorced spouses

Survivors of a divorced spouse may be eligible for thousands of dollars in Social Security benefits. However, surviving divorced spouses need to do their research. They may need to fill out an application to receive their ex’s current payment, or they may need to apply in person.

In order to be eligible for divorced spouse benefits, both parties must be at least 62. They must also have been married for at least 10 years. The benefits are calculated as half of the former spouse’s full retirement benefit. The benefits are reduced if the marriage is less than two years.

There is no limit to the number of ex-spouses who can receive Social Security benefits. The maximum monthly benefit is $1,672 in 2022. If an ex-spouse is receiving a pension, they may have their Social Security benefit affected.