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Old 07-22-2014, 04:03 AM
 
Location: NV
10 posts, read 12,438 times
Reputation: 31

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Hi, admittedly this is my first stop, I am reluctant to expect the government to have a good forum on social security or a good FAQ or answers.

Can you tell me where I am likely to find good answers to questions such as:

* If I file for my Social Security at 62 what happens if I then work and make, say $600/week?
* Do they take taxes out of my social security check? (Say I make $1200/month Social Security - how much taxes will they take out of that assuming no other income?
* If my wife makes $2000/month will that in any way affect what I get from Social Security? or what they take out of my Social Security check? (Obviously it will affect our total tax burden if we file jointly)
* In the above scenario will it behoove us NOT to file jointly?

These are my beginning questions....
Thanks for any light you can shed on answers or where is the best place to get these answers! (Again I have found in the past when trying to get answers from gov web sites that it always just leads to more questions as they don't explain things so well... and answers are hard to find...
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Old 07-22-2014, 04:16 AM
 
1,535 posts, read 1,441,482 times
Reputation: 11204
Your best source will be to call the information number on the Social Security website. Every time I have had a question about SS or Medicare and have called them, I have received excellent service from very knowledgeable people. You may choose to believe all government employees are worthless trash, but they are not. Give the folks at SS an opportunity to answer your questions before you declare them too stupid to be of use to you. If you don't want to talk to them, give the website a try. There is a lot of good information there. There would be no earthly purpose served by providing bad information. If you are still determined to be dissatisfied, most of the financial news and financial magazine websites offer varying amounts of information on SS.

Last edited by Chaofan; 07-22-2014 at 04:32 AM..
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Old 07-22-2014, 05:42 AM
 
29,782 posts, read 34,876,173 times
Reputation: 11705
Quote:
Originally Posted by retiree9 View Post
Hi, admittedly this is my first stop, I am reluctant to expect the government to have a good forum on social security or a good FAQ or answers.

Can you tell me where I am likely to find good answers to questions such as:

* If I file for my Social Security at 62 what happens if I then work and make, say $600/week?
* Do they take taxes out of my social security check? (Say I make $1200/month Social Security - how much taxes will they take out of that assuming no other income?
* If my wife makes $2000/month will that in any way affect what I get from Social Security? or what they take out of my Social Security check? (Obviously it will affect our total tax burden if we file jointly)
* In the above scenario will it behoove us NOT to file jointly?

These are my beginning questions....
Thanks for any light you can shed on answers or where is the best place to get these answers! (Again I have found in the past when trying to get answers from gov web sites that it always just leads to more questions as they don't explain things so well... and answers are hard to find...
Sometimes more questions are what you want. The more you learn the more you realize you have more to learn. Some around here would suggest retirement planning is exponential.
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Old 07-22-2014, 05:45 AM
 
71,651 posts, read 71,777,271 times
Reputation: 49240
social security solutions website. they will do a very nice work up . the advice is not free though but it can be priceless.
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Old 07-22-2014, 09:05 AM
 
Location: Florida
4,366 posts, read 3,704,692 times
Reputation: 4111
Read the info on the SS site. The info is good, but how to apply It to your situation is where ass help may not be to good.
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Old 07-22-2014, 09:16 AM
 
1,158 posts, read 1,873,769 times
Reputation: 1357
OP,

I found the website to be daunting, however, when I called the 800 number, the people are very nice and patient. They can help you with almost any question. I see that you live in Nevada (according to your location on your post). I did have a small problem with information that they gave me on the phone that was contradicted by the people at the office here in Las Vegas. It was a small problem and only cost me a bit of time (around 40 minutes), but be aware that some offices have different operating procedures than others.

The only other problem I had when I phoned up was the long wait to get someone on the phone in the first place, about an hour. I have a speaker phone next to my computer, though, so it wasn't a problem for me, I just worked on the computer till they answered. Once that person was on the phone with me, all my questions were answered in short order, about 10 minutes.

I will say that if you are making $600 a week and file at age 62, you're going to find that your benefit will be substantially cut. You are allowed to make $15k a year (the amount works out to $1290 per month) until you're 65, then you can make $41k. You don't lose the amount they hold back, it's just deferred. I think the formula is for every $2 you make over the amount allowed, they take $1 off your benefit, but I could be wrong. That is why you really need to speak with the people at the 800 number.
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Old 07-22-2014, 10:39 AM
 
3,752 posts, read 9,606,989 times
Reputation: 7044
From an IRS perspective, it is rarely worth it for a married couple to consider filing separate. They will get you coming or going.
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Old 07-22-2014, 11:21 AM
 
Location: OH>IL>CO>CT
5,238 posts, read 8,409,707 times
Reputation: 7191
[font=Verdana]
Quote:
Originally Posted by retiree9 View Post
Hi, admittedly this is my first stop, I am reluctant to expect the government to have a good forum on social security or a good FAQ or answers.

Can you tell me where I am likely to find good answers to questions such as:

* If I file for my Social Security at 62 what happens if I then work and make, say $600/week?

At 2:1, $600/week would reduce any benefit by ~$1200/MONTH. See page 3 of http://www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/EN-05-10069.pdf for an example. And that reduction is not lost, but is deferred until you do start getting payments.


* Do they take taxes out of my social security check? (Say I make $1200/month Social Security - how much taxes will they take out of that assuming no other income?

No. Unless you need additional Fed income tax withholding, then it is voluntary. I have 10% taken to help cover other income. See Benefits Planner: Withholding Income Tax From Your Social Security Benefits

* If my wife makes $2000/month will that in any way affect what I get from Social Security? or what they take out of my Social Security check? (Obviously it will affect our total tax burden if we file jointly)

No effect on any benefit you are otherwise eligible for. SS payouts, like Medicare, are individually, not jointly, determined. (benefits may depend on marital status, but not joint income)


* In the above scenario will it behoove us NOT to file jointly?

Can't really say. Best to do 3 "trial, what-if" 1040s. 1 as MFJ, 2 as MFS for each of you.

These are my beginning questions....
Thanks for any light you can shed on answers or where is the best place to get these answers! (Again I have found in the past when trying to get answers from gov web sites that it always just leads to more questions as they don't explain things so well... and answers are hard to find...
]You don't learn if you don't ask.........


One issue with calling SSA is they generally will not offer advice. You have to know what questions to ask.
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Old 07-22-2014, 04:55 PM
 
71,651 posts, read 71,777,271 times
Reputation: 49240
my opinion is this:

when and how to take social security can be one of the biggest financial decisions most folks make in their lifetime. a wrong choice can leave 100k on the table or cause huge tax ramifications.

why anyone especially with a spouse would leave that choice to asking the low hourly payed SCRIPTED workers at the ss office escapes me.

there are so many options that they are not even aware of it is pathetic.

try to find just one who even knows a single can file and suspend. yep ,and that way they can delay ss or if the need comes up take a lump sum check going back to your fra.

i think it is such a major decision that anyone who does not at least get a minimal work up done by a professional site like social securities solutions may be shooting themselves in the foot.

sites like that are experts on the ss system. they understand all the aspects ,pitfalls and ramifications of the effect on your assets and taxes.
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Old 07-22-2014, 07:05 PM
 
Location: NV
10 posts, read 12,438 times
Reputation: 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaofan View Post
Your best source will be to call the information number on the Social Security website. Every time I have had a question about SS or Medicare and have called them, I have received excellent service from very knowledgeable people. You may choose to believe all government employees are worthless trash, but they are not. Give the folks at SS an opportunity to answer your questions before you declare them too stupid to be of use to you. If you don't want to talk to them, give the website a try. There is a lot of good information there. There would be no earthly purpose served by providing bad information. If you are still determined to be dissatisfied, most of the financial news and financial magazine websites offer varying amounts of information on SS.
Hi and thanks for the reply.
I never said I believed all government employees were worthless trash, I don't know why you said that.

What I have found is that it's better to get basic info on the web and learn as much as I can from people on forums before I contact a government office.

Secondly, while I do not say all gov. employees are worthless trash, I HAVE found that gov. web sites are often not very good and not very easy to find the info you need and/or it is inadequate info to answer specific questions.

Also while not all Social Security employees are bad, my friend had a very bad experience at the local office. He was told totally incorrect information, the opposite of the truth and it caused him to have problems.

So again, while I do plan to contact the local office and talk to them, and I do plan to look at the Social Security web site, I want to first try to get info from people who may know. I once had a very excellent experience with a forum regarding another government issue.
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