Questions tagged [social-security]

For questions relating to the US Social Security system, e.g. payments, benefits, FICA taxes, etc.

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26
votes
3answers
7k views

Can I buy Social Security credits?

I have 39 credits and no longer work in the US. (Gave up resident card after 10 years in the US). Retired in Norway. Is there any way I could buy the last credit point I need?
25
votes
6answers
19k views

Scam? Phone call from “Department of Social Security” asking me to call back

I have gotten two phone calls this week from a 210 area code. A clearly automated voice claimed to be an officer with the Department for Social Security. I was informed there are legal proceedings ...
19
votes
4answers
54k views

How do I opt-out of the Social Security system?

How do I opt-out of the Social Security system and give up my Social Security Number? If I do this, am I then exempt from paying Social Security income tax?
19
votes
5answers
53k views

Is it normal to have 28.5% of various income taxes deducted from my paycheck?

I just got out of college, still live with the parents (saving up money) been employed for a year in the industry, and got a not bad starting salary. First check I received was shocking, to see 28.5% ...
18
votes
3answers
9k views

what happens if you don't start collecting social security until you're 75?

My father recently turned 70 and distrusts banks somewhat. He doesn't feel he currently needs the extra income that social security would provide and that if he took the extra money now that that ...
16
votes
4answers
2k views

I guess I'm American (by birth). I'm Canadian… my investment company is asking an impossible question. I don't have an SSN, what to do? Lie?

When I was born (1976) they did not automatically assign SSNs to kids (according to my mother). I guess that's not the case now. I only lived there for a few years and I gather I am a US citizen by ...
16
votes
1answer
8k views

Is the Social Security retirement benefit calculation based on the last 40 quarters, or overall?

Are Social Security payouts based on the last 40 quarters, or overall earnings? That is: If the last 40 quarters of my working career are lower than these past 40 quarters worth, how does this affect ...
14
votes
6answers
4k views

Why Is Social Security Excluded From Retirement Savings Formulas?

I've spoken with several financial planners who recommend saving at least 15% of income for retirement (media example and this site has an example). They do not include social security, which takes ...
14
votes
2answers
1k views

Will the Windfall Elimination Provision reduce my Social Security?

I have recently changed careers after working for 20+ years outside of education, and now I'm being told I will never be able to access any of the SS dollars I have contributed because now my ...
12
votes
1answer
46k views

Why did my last paycheck of the year have a big decrease in Social Security taxes taken out?

My last check from my employer this year shows a 60% decrease in the amount taken out by social security (FICA-OASDI). Net result is a larger take home amount. Does anyone know why that would ...
12
votes
2answers
871 views

Will there be enough money in Social Security benefits to cover baby boomer retirement? [US]

This is in a similar vein to this question. Wondering if the American old age benefits program has also taken into account the larger retiring population. Does the plan have enough money to cover ...
12
votes
1answer
3k views

What happens to my Social Security benefits if I work less than 10 years in the U.S?

I'm a U.S citizen and have been working in the United States for about 5 years now. I'm planning on moving to Switzerland soon for a regular job (not self-employed). If I understand this properly, in ...
12
votes
1answer
2k views

Exempt from US Social Security, too few credits for benefits

I am an employee of a US state government which does not participate in Social Security, so neither I nor my employer pay Social Security taxes. (My employer offers a defined-contribution plan ...
11
votes
8answers
5k views

How much should a hobby business make to be worth the effort for taxes?

My wife was a software developer for 15 years until we had our daughter, and since then she has been primarily concerned with caring for her. She has been volunteering her time for personal ...
11
votes
4answers
71k views

If I earn 40 credits and stop working, would I get full Social Security benefits at age 67?

If I meet my 40 credit requirement in my 30s, and then left the States permanently and work at another country (and pay taxes there, not to the US), would I receive the full benefits when I become ...
11
votes
4answers
1k views

Should I take Social Security earlier than full retirement age, or wait for more?

Should I take Social Security earlier than the full retirement age shown on my statement? I'm concerned they'll change the rules and I'll lose out if I wait. :-/ What is the likelihood the rules ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

Why might Social Security employee deductions from paycheck vary across pay periods?

What percentage of salary deducts for an employee's Social Security contribution? And why will there be a difference in % deducted? My salary statement for October and September 2015 has the same ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

can you collect social security if you're over 70 and are employed?

My father is about to turn 70 and he's employed. He has the option to continue working but it's unclear to either of us if he'll be able to collect social security while he has his job?
11
votes
2answers
15k views

How many years do you need to contribute to Social Security to be eligible for benefit payments in retirement?

Recently I have been reading many articles about the insolvency of Social Security and how not to factor it in any retirement income. My questions are: How many years does someone need to pay into ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

How is Social Security tax levied for people with incomes above the cutoff?

For tax year 2015, Social Security taxes are levied at a rate of 6.2% (for employed persons) on up to $118,500 of wages. Suppose I started a new job on Jan 1, 2015, earning a nice, round annual ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

When someone receiving Social Security dies, does the estate have to give back their last “paycheck”?

When someone receiving Social Security in the US dies, I have heard that there are some cases where the estate must return the last payment made by Social Security. It makes total sense to me that if ...
9
votes
3answers
23k views

What is the purpose of Social Security and Medicare deductions from my paycheck?

Sorry, this might be a basic question, but I'm having trouble understanding this, so would like to ask here. I've recently started a full-time position, and I notice that two things are being ...
9
votes
1answer
15k views

I'm a non-U.S. citizen that paid Social Security tax. I'm leaving the country. Can I get my money back?

I am not a U.S. citizen and I am leaving the country in a few months. Can I get the money back that I paid for Social Security taxes, since I am not going to be retiring in the United States?
9
votes
1answer
299 views

Disabled, no-income except SS, on various programs that help…What if I receive a windfall?

I have a chronic, debilitating disease (MS). Barring a miracle cure, I am going to be on Social Security Disability the rest of my life. I’m 47, divorced, no children. I have a hobby that I enjoy and ...
8
votes
3answers
444 views

When someone retires is their Social Security check amount set forever?

My father is planning on retiring and both he and I are trying to make sense of the caveats of Social Security during retirement. My interpretation of the retirement benefit is that he will get about $...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Are U.S. Social Security payroll contributions and state taxes deductible from taxable income for India?

I moved to USA during the financial year Apr 2014 - Mar 2015, in which I was resident in India for more than 182 days due to which my status is "resident" in India for the tax year concerned. I ...
8
votes
1answer
448 views

Social security “bonus” for married retirees?

I passed this info on to my father who is much closer to the age where he may be able to take advantage of it, but I wondered if anyone could comment on the viability of the approach described in this ...
7
votes
2answers
4k views

Tax and social security for low income

My friend works part time and made about $7000 in 2019. Some people have been telling them that she should file separately so she had record of taxes reported for herself and she would be able to ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

Is social security paid biweekly or monthly?

Is social security paid biweekly or monthly? My father is retiring soon and I can't seem to find this answered directly.
7
votes
1answer
14k views

What happens If I Overpay Social Security Taxes?

Resource: Maximum social security tax income level for 2015. I work four jobs and just noticed on the second one, they're deducting social security taxes. The first job I work pays 99% of the ...
7
votes
3answers
4k views

How does the Social Security Wage Base apply to employers?

This is a hypothetical question, but let's say a person has two W-2 positions at two different companies, where they make $60,000/year each. The Social Security Wage Base for 2014 is $117,000. So the ...
7
votes
2answers
230 views

What specific quality of life factors need to be addressed when creating a special needs trust?

We are in the process of creating a special needs trust for my daughter. One of the many things we need to think about are the quality of life factors as she gets older and of course as we get older. ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Do I need to pay medicare/social security as full-time employee but with a business on the side of which I'm the sole owner/employee?

I'm working full-time for a company, but I also have my own mobile app business on the side. Do all the regular self-employment rules apply to me? I'd like to take the money I make from my side ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

What accounts for the “average” FICA payroll tax paid not being close to its 15.3% theoretical maximum?

This is a question regarding the social insurance tax in the U.S. The effective payroll tax cited by the Congressional Budget Office as well as the Tax Policy Center is lower than I would expect for ...
6
votes
1answer
609 views

Can already-retired immigrants get Social Security or other payments from the U.S. government?

My parents are 83+, and became U.S. citizens back in 2001. They were born as Indian citizens. They moved to the USA after they retired in India. Will they be entitled to receive any monthly payments ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Recovering over-contribution to Social Security between two employers?

My wife changed jobs mid-year 2014 and her new employer took over $6K in Social Security tax withheld. Her first employer withheld over $5K making it a total of $11,298.98 in Social Security tax ...
6
votes
2answers
129 views

When I withdraw SS vs when I retire

If I stop working at age 65, can I wait to age 70 to accept SS (living off of my own retirement accounts and younger spouse's income) for those 5 years?
6
votes
1answer
3k views

How does Bill Me Later check a person's credit using DOB and Last four SSN digits?

Currently, I'm looking to open Bill Me Later account. I notice that it only asks Date of Birth and last 4 digits of SSN. According to this website, The first three digits are based on the state ...
6
votes
1answer
7k views

W2 and 1099 (self employed) income in same year: social security taxable income limit?

For 2013, the maximum taxable social security income for employees on wages is $113,700, and for self employed individuals it is also $113,700 (though obviously at a higher rate). Suppose a person is ...
6
votes
1answer
296 views

Max out 15% tax bracket with IRA distribution for retired couple

We are a retired couple (71 and 75) in the U.S. and we would like to do a voluntary IRA distribution so that we are maximizing the 15% tax bracket. In other words, we want to increase our taxable ...
6
votes
1answer
761 views

Social security credits shared between spouses where neither earned 40 credits

A husband and wife, neither of whom earned enough credits, want to combine their credits under one spouse's social security number in order to qualify for social security benefits. Is this possible?
6
votes
1answer
696 views

Is the Social Security delayed benefit increase in addition to COLA?

I understand that delaying taking social security from full retirement age (67, based on my birth year) until age 70 results in a 24% increase in the monthly benefit, or 8% per year. Is this amount ...
6
votes
1answer
247 views

Retirement after reaching 40 credits, non-us citizen

I am a green card holder and I have been working for a US company since January 2011. I am 52 years old and I plan to stop working when I reach 40 credits at the age of 55 in July of 2021. I do ...
6
votes
1answer
214 views

Divorce and Social Sec, Pension, and 401K

I am 65 while my spouse is 52. My spouse has been the sole breadwinner of the family and we've been married for 25 years If we were to get a divorce, can I start collecting now on my spouse's Social ...
6
votes
1answer
735 views

Social Security contribution of a J1 visa holder leaving U.S. permanently?

I was a J1 visa holder (post-doc) in the US for 18 months and contributed to Social Security. Since I am not going back to the U.S. again, am I eligible to get the money back? Thanks and regards JMV
6
votes
1answer
218 views

Social Security widower retroactivity

I'm trying to help my dad get his Social Security retirement stuff figured out. He waited until a couple months before he was 62 and found out that he could have been getting widower's benefits since ...
5
votes
2answers
708 views

Do I have to pay Medicare and Social Security taxes if I just have a work permit and not yet a green card?

I applied for a Green Card late July 2017. I just received my work permit few weeks ago. During this time where I am in between status am I exempt from Social Security and Medicare taxes? When I had ...
5
votes
1answer
261 views

My employer is refunding incorrectly witheld FICA. Do I need to wait for W-2c to file?

My employer withheld FICA taxes and generated a W-2 based on it. I see the error and report it to them. Now they are refunding the FICA taxes and will issue a W-2c. They say you can proceed with ...
5
votes
1answer
285 views

How to avoid U.S. FICA (S.S.)

I am a U.S. citizen and a citizen of another foreign country. I live abroad for many years in that 2nd country. I file a 1099 each year. I was wondering if there is a legal way to stop paying FICA on ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Federal Income Tax implications of Amazon Mechanical Turk

What are the federal tax implications of any money received through Amazon Mechanical Turk? Is this money categorized as income? What are the necessary rules for payment regarding social security and ...