More than 60% of the 41.4 million individuals collecting Social Security depend on it as at least half of their income. So without these needed, hard-earned benefits, many would fall well below the poverty level.
2018 is likely to bring about several changes to this 82-year-old government institution.
Unless a new Social Security bill is passed, the full retirement age for new retirees born in or after 1956 will be climbing by two months to 66 years and four months. This is the “full retirement” age when you would be qualify for your complete monthly benefit payment. However, waiting until age 66 years and five months, or up to age 70 may offer incentives which allow for more benefits.
Why the change? First of all. it’s not unexpected, just not well-known. Back in 1983, congress signed into law the increase in age requirement. After looking at data regarding life expectancy, they bumped-up the full benefits age.
Good news: You may live longer than generations before you.
Bad news: You may work longer than generations before you.
To summarize this upcoming change, if you were born in 1958 or after, you will need to wait until age 66 and four months to receive full benefits, or settle for less by accepting higher reductions should you decide to retire any earlier.
On a slightly brighter note, Social Security benefits are likely to see a cost of living adjustment (COLA). This could add a little extra jingle to your monthly check.
Social Security takes into account data from average pay, inflation, and overall earnings in order to determine if a COLA is warranted.
So far, the data released this year has all signs pointing toward a slight increase, but that could change as more quarterly reporting is gathered.
Bottom line: If you are at or nearing (within a few years) retirement, stay informed of the latest information on Social Security. Consider contacting a Social Security benefits specialist or consulting with a benefits adviser in order to stay informed and plan for your best retirement.