If you read many of the articles I write, you’ve probably noticed that I put a lot of emphasis on understanding the basics. Why? It’s the foundation! It’s what gives us the ability to spot mistakes, errors and general screw-ups before they turn into big problems.
Recently, on the Big Picture Retirement podcast we spent two entire episodes talking about Social Security basics.
Here are the episodes:
Part 1: The 9 Social Security Basics That EVERYONE Should Know
Social Security is a lot easier to understand if you know about 9 basic concepts. In this episode we discuss these four topics:
- Social Security credits
- Calculating your benefits
- Your full retirement age
- The earnings limit
- What are Social Security credits, how you earn them, and what do they do?
- How benefits are calculated, including the definitions of Full Retirement Age (FRA) and how benefit amounts are based on age.
- Why you need to verify your Social Security reporting each year.
- What PIA means.
- Why you might not want to file when you’re eligible.
- When you want Social Security to stop paying your benefits.
- How to deal with an overpayment notice.
Part 2: The 9 Social Security Basics That EVERYONE Should Know
In the second episode, we finish up the list with:
- Length of marriage rules
- Why there are different benefit amounts, and how you can get the higher one
- Spousal benefits, including Medicare
- Survivor benefits, including Medicare
- Social Security taxes
- Qualifying for divorced spouse benefits.
- How the spouse’s “one-half” benefit isn’t taking away from your benefit.
- What is a Social Security tax torpedo, and do you need to be worried about it?
- What is provisional income?
If you are one of the individuals who’d rather learn from reading, get the free eBook The 9 Social Security Basics That Everyone Should Know!
If you’re more visual, and would prefer to watch something, check out the video below.