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Social Security and Retirement Planning

Few topics are more controversial and less understood than Social Security's potential impact on your retirement. Learn how to determine your benefit, the safety of your benefit, your normal retirement age, how to calculate your early retirement benefit and strategies for maximizing Social Security's value to you.

5 Things You Need to Know About Social Security
Have questions about how Social Security works? Here are the answers to your most common Social Security questions.

When Can I Start Receiving Social Security Benefits?
Find out the minimum and maximum age to receive Social Security, and what happens if you do it before or after full retirement age.

How Do I Apply for Social Security Benefits?
A simple overview of how to apply for Social Security retirement benefits.

Can I Get Social Security Retirement Benefits If I'm Working?
You can get Social Security retirement benefits while you are still working. But when you apply makes a difference. Here's how it works.

Can I Get Spousal Social Security Benefits?
With spousal Social Security you can get retirement benefits through your spouse. Here's how it works.

Make Sense of Medicare
Medicare is government health insurance for seniors age 65 and older. Here's how it works.

Calculate Your Social Security Benefits
Learn the two components of calculating your Social Security Benefits: your earnings history and the age you retire. Understand the impact your normal retirement age has on your retirement benefit too.

Your Normal Social Security Retirement Age
Your normal retirement age, or your Social Security Retirement age is based on your year of birth. Learn the importance of your retirement age and how it might affect your retirement plans.

Social Security: How Early Retirement Affects Your Benefits
When you choose early retirement and take Social Security benefits before your normal retirement age, your benefit is reduced. Understand how the Social Security Administration figures this benefit reduction.

Social Security: How Delaying Your Retirement Increases Your Benefits
Delaying Social Security benefits beyond your normal retirement date increases your monthly payments. Understand how the Social Security Administration will calculate your benefits.

Social Security and Retirement Planning
Obtain an introduction of how your Social Security benefits will affect your retirement.

COLA – Social Security and Cost of Living Adjustments
One of the most valuable parts of your Social Security benefit is your cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA). It is the Social Security COLA that allows for protection from inflation over the long-term.

The Social Security Widow Benefit
The death of a spouse is a dramatic event, emotionally and financially. Fortunately, the Social Security widow benefit paid to surviving spouse's takes some of the financial sting away. Learn more about the Social Security Survivor's Benefit.

Social Security Taxes and the Annual Contribution and Benefit Base
Social Security taxes are limited to the first $106,800 of earnings during 2009. Learn the current and future impact of this cap on your retirement planning.

When am I eligible for Medicare?
Find out when your eligibility for Medicare begins.

Social Security How to Borrow from Social Security Interest-Free
Learn how an unusual quirk in Social Security allows retirees to take an interest-free loan from Social Security.

Social Security Benefit Calculator
Workers receive annual statements from the Social Security Administration estimating their retirement benefits. But what if you don't plan to work until at least age 62? Or, what if you'll make more money in the future and want to understand your higher salary's impact on your retirement benefit? These calculators allow you to change assumptions like those and receive estimates of future benefits.

Normal Social Security Retirement Age
When Social Security began, everyone eligible could receive their full retirement benefit at age 65. Many years later, Congress changed the rules so that many people, including most of the people reaching retirement today, must wait past their 65th birthday to be eligible. Learn when your normal retirement age is and what retiring earlier than that age will mean to your retirement benefit.

When to Take Social Security
Did you know that you could take your Social Security retirement benefit when you are still working? It's also true that you can delay receiving your benefit past normal retirement age even if you have retired. Learn about your choices - and their implications.

Spousal Benefits and Social Security
You already knew that marriage adds to the value (and confusion) of life. Believe it or not, marriage does the same thing with your Social Security benefits too. When you're married, you have more options, but figuring out what to do is also more complex. Here's one way to approach the situation.

Can I take Social Security and not Medicare?
Can retirees receive social security benefits if they are not eligible for Medicare?

Can I take Medicare and not Social Security?
Can retirees receive Medicare without taking their Social Security benefits?

Should Your Retirement Planning Change Due to the New Debt Deal?
Now that the new debt deal has officially passed, it's time to think about how it will affect you.

5 Ways to Get the Most Out of Social Security
5 Tips for Making the Most of Social Security

How to Maximize Your Social Security Income
A new Social Security Income Planner tool can help people nearing retirement plan how and when to draw down investments and claim Social Security.

When Should You Collect Social Security?
Should you take Social Security at age 62 or 70, or somewhere in between?

Retirement Ready Checklist
Pre-retirees need to prepare, so here's a handy retirement readiness checklist to help you plan for your next adventure.

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