The myths and misconceptions regarding Social Security are many. When can you get your full benefits? Can you claim a small amount early, and get bumped up later to a higher benefit? Can your ex-husband or ex-wife take part of your Social Security? What part of your life are your wages based on? Will you get all your money back? These are some of the questions Fidelity answers here in, Five Social Security myths debunked. Below I’ve sampled some of the more common misconceptions people have about Social Security benefits.
- Many people are adamant that Social Security benefits must begin at age 62. This is a myth: 62 is the earliest age you can claim your benefit, but, it’s not the only age….Your benefit is calculated based on your “Full Retirement Age,” or FRA. The year you were born determines your FRA. Your base benefit is calculated assuming you’ll claim your benefit at FRA.
- In a recent survey,3 Fidelity asked more than 1,000 people if an ex-spouse could influence their Social Security benefits . Fifty-two percent of them said yes, this is true….The real answer: False.
- How your Social Security benefit is calculated can seem mysterious….Your benefit is calculated based on your highest 35 years of earnings; they do not have to be consecutive years or before age 65.
- Although 70% of the respondents from our survey5 thought they might not get back all they money they put in, many will. Everyone’s situation is different. Simply put, if you live a long time, you may collect more than you contributed to the system.
Get a head start on understanding your Social Security benefits. It’s important to include your spouse in these conversations as both of you will be affected by the decisions the other makes with their Social Security.