[Noozhawk’s note: One in a series of Social Security-related columns by Ameriflex representatives. Click here for a related article.]
Q. Is it true that after I reach full retirement age, the benefits I receive will no longer be affected by my other sources of income, but will be subject to taxation? — Mark
A. Mark, you are correct. There is often confusion between withholding of benefits and taxation of benefits. Withholding of benefits occurs prior to a worker reaching full retirement age. Once full retirement age is reached, withholding no longer applies to any income received.
Taxation of benefits can, however, occur at any age and is dependent on the adjusted gross income received in a given year. Careful retirement planning is essential to maximize benefits and minimize taxation.
Q. My spouse is 63, and I am 62. I have been told that I am not eligible for spousal benefits until my spouse reaches 66. Is this correct? — Susan
A. Thank you for your question, Susan. The information you were given is correct. Your spousal benefit is not available until your husband reaches full retirement age (66). You may be eligible for your own reduced benefits now — depending on your eligibility — and could in the future switch to a spousal benefit once your husband turns 66. This would be a possibility if your spousal benefit is more than what you receive on your own work record.
Keep in mind that you will take a reduced spousal benefit if you take it before reaching your full retirement age (66).
— Justin Anderson, CFP, CRC, CLU, is a financial planner and Bibi Taylor, MBA, is the Social Security project coordinator at AmeriFlex, 3700 State St., Suite 310, in Santa Barbara. Call 805.898.0893 for more information. Financial advisors and registered representatives associated with AmeriFlex Financial Services offer securities and advisory services through SagePoint Financial Inc., member FINRA/SIPC. Insurance services offered through AmeriFlex Financial Services, which is not affiliated with SagePoint Financial Inc. or registered as a broker-dealer or investment advisor. Registered representatives may only discuss and/or transact securities business with residents of the following states: AR, AZ, CA, CO, FL, GA, IL, IN, MI, MO, NC, ND, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OR, PA, PR, SC, TX, VA, WA, WI.