We’ve all heard the rumors about social security. “If you keep working, you can’t collect benefits.” “The program is going broke.” And the old standby, “You’ll never get back what you put into it.” Ouch.
If it sounds too bad to be true, it’s probably hype. Let’s take a deep breath and take down these three myths one at a time.
First off, there’s the idea that if you work while collecting social security, you’ll lose your benefits. That’s simply not true. If you take benefits before full retirement age, and chose to work during that time, you will receive benefits, but they will be reduced by $1 for every $2 earn. You can earn up to $18,960 before benefits are reduced.
Second, social security is going broke. No, not exactly. As long as payroll taxes are collected, the program can’t run out of funding. While it’s technically possible that benefits owed may start to outstrip payroll taxes collected, the soonest that could happen would be 2034.
Finally, there is the idea that you won’t get back what you put in. Here’s the thing. That’s not how it’s supposed to work. The amount of money recipients receive is based on when they start drawing benefits and how long they live after that. So why you may not receive all the money you put in, you could also end up receiving quite a bit more, depending on your situation.
Remember, when it comes to including social security and your retirement strategy, make sure you know the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
This is meant for educational purposes only. It should not be considered investment advice, nor does it constitute a recommendation to take a particular course of action. Please consult with a financial professional regarding your personal situation prior to making any financial related decisions. (06/21)