Social Security benefits will eventually be paid to the majority of American workers. It may be possible to qualify for bigger Social Security payments and avoid payment reductions and withholdings if you understand how the system works.
Still. when workers reach retirement age, they often have many questions regarding Social Security benefits — especially when there is so much confusion and misinformation regarding Social Security.
With these ten books, you can debunk these myths and make sure your retirement plan includes Social Security.
1. Get What’s Yours – Revised & Updated: The Secrets to Maxing Out Your Social Security (The Get What’s Yours Series) by Laurence J. Kotlikoff, Philip Moeller, Paul Solman
Specifically, this book focuses on Social Security and on ensuring that the deserving get the benefits they deserve. Since this book appeared on the New York Times Bestsellers list, we think this is a topic people want to learn more about.
The authors of this book are all experts in Social Security. There is a lot of detail in the book, but the style is conversational. Chapters 16 and 17 are the highlights of this book. You’ll learn the 50 “Good News Secrets to Boosting Your Lifetime Benefits,” as well as” 50 Bad News Gatchas” which can permanently reduce them. It’s easy to see why the purchase of the book would be worthwhile for these two chapters alone.
2. Social Security Made Simple: Social Security Retirement Benefits and Related Planning Topics Explained in 100 Pages or Less by Mike Piper
Mike Piper is a CPA and author of several personal finance books. However, this happens to be one of the most intriguing, fascinating, and informative books about Social Security.
The book explains how to claim Social Security retirement benefits at the right time and provides a comprehensive explanation of the retirement benefits available.
Why’s that so important?
In terms of society’s image, Social Security benefits are crucial. The Social Security Administration has found that about half of the population aged 65 and older live in households that receive at least 50 percent of their family income from Social Security benefits and about 25 percent of those households receive at least 90 percent of their income from Social Security benefits.
Overall, everything you need to know about Social Security benefits is in Social Security made simple. Among the topics covered are divorced spouses’ Social Security benefits, children’s benefits, the earnings limit and the windfall elimination provision for non-SS workers, and the government pension offset for non-SS workers.
3. A Social Security Owner’s Manual, 4th Edition by Jim Blankenship
In the fourth edition of A Social Security Owner’s Manual, the benefits of Social Security are stressed. After all, more and more people are interested in knowing how to maximize their Social Security benefits.
Specifically, financial advisor Jim Blankenship explains how readers can calculate the level of their benefit. In addition, he discusses how the spouse of the recipient receives the benefits. He also goes over how these benefits can be further enhanced by adding on to them.
4. “Social Security: Simple and Smart: 10 Easy-to-Understand Fact Sheets That Will Answer All Your Questions About Social Security.” by Tom Margenau
Having worked for the Social Security Administration and as a syndicated columnist for Creators Syndicate for nearly 50 years, Tom Margenau is definitely an expert when it comes to Social Security.
It’s a comprehensive book that explains in plain English the various aspects of Social Security, despite its short length of only about 100 pages. As such, it’s perfect for anyone looking for an introduction to Social Security. It explains the history of Social Security and explains what options are available to you even at the age of 62 or (in some cases) earlier. In addition, it discusses options for widows and widowers, as well as divorcees.
5. Social Security For Dummies, 4th Edition by Jonathan Peterson
The best thing about the Dummies series? Complex topics are explained in an easy-to-understand manner by the authors.
The entire book is chock-full of useful information, but Chapter 15, the first chapter in Part 5, debunks the myths surrounding Social Security. Throughout Chapter 16, young people are referred to as stakeholders in Social Security and should keep an eye on the policy changes in the coming years. Lastly, Chapter 17 discusses how Social Security will have to adapt to the realities of the future.
6. Social Security Basics: 9 Essentials That Everyone Should Know by Devin Carroll
As a financial planner, Devin Carroll is passionate about simplifying retirement planning. His straightforward and condensed guide to Social Security’s jargon is the perfect guide to explain the confusing Social Security System.
That’s important since in order to fully understand Social Security regulations, you must understand the norms and regulations. As such, it’s good to see that this book covers nine essential points about Social Security, as the title suggests. No matter if you are looking for information about benefits, rules, options, or effects of Social Security, you will find these points useful. Keeping these points in mind is critical to keeping social activities running smoothly.
7. 100 Myths and 100 Facts: Setting the Record Straight About America’s Most Popular and Most Misunderstood Government Program by Tom Margenau
There are a lot of myths and misstatements about Social Security floating around the Internet, in emails, and on websites. Thankfully, our friend Tom Margenau has spent the last half-century dispelling these myths.
The result is an easy-to-understand guide to 100 security myths. His book is divided into two sections, “Political and Myths” and “Program and Practical Myths.” He even has sections on the Supplement Social Security Income Program and Medicare.
8. The Truth about Social Security: The Founders’ Words Refute Revisionist History, Zombie Lies, and Common Misunderstandings by Nancy Altman
Social Security Works President Nancy Altman delivers her third book, which debunks myths and reveals the truth about our nation’s most popular and successful government program using the founder’s own words.
Altman draws heavily on primary sources, such as speeches and published remarks by those who were part of the Social Security Insurance Act at its inception. It may be interesting to some readers to learn that FDR originally intended to push for national health care, but was resisted by the AMA. Throughout this book, it becomes clear that Social Security remains a work in progress and its original purpose is not yet fulfilled.
9. You Can RETIRE On Social Security by Josh Scandlen
As you plan for retirement, you may have heard that you’ll require multiple income sources to live a comfortable retirement. You can, however, learn some key insights about retirement in this book and reduce the media’s fear about retirement.
Certified Financial Planner Josh Scandlen argues that you don’t need millions to retire. In particular, this holds true if your mortgage has been paid off since this is the biggest expense in your life. As a result, your lifestyle will be okay financially as long as you are comfortable with it and don’t expect to make many changes.
10. The $214,000 Mistake: How to Double Your Social Security and Maximize Your IRAs, Proven Strategies for Couples Ages 62-70 by James Lange
Specifically, the $214,000 mistake benefits married couples who are in their 60s or 70s to receive better Social Security benefits. Since approximately 97% of those who deserve Social Security benefits do not receive them, this is a must-read for pretty much everyone.
Using a critical tone, the author James Lange, CPA, Attorney, and Financial Advisor, question the delay in claiming Social Security benefits, modifies the benefits, and increases the spouse’s security benefits. Using simple examples and uncomplicated language, you’ll learn how to put proven strategies in place so married couples don’t lose hundreds of thousands of dollars. In addition, Lange describes how to combine optimal Roth IRA conversion strategies with the best Social Security strategies.
What Is Social Security?
To provide retirement income to certain U.S. workers, the Social Security program was established in 1935. Eventually, it covered most of the workforce in the country. Americans rely on this financial lifeline to stay afloat in their golden years.
Social Security accounts for at least 50% of the income of 37% of elderly men and 42% of elderly women. Approximately 12% of elderly men and 15% of elderly women earn at least 90% of their income from Social Security.
What is the Social Security retirement age?
It depends on your birth year when you can claim your full Social Security benefit. The full retirement age is 65 for people who were born in 1937 or earlier, 66 for baby boomers born between 1943 and 1954, and 67 for people born after 1960. There are even more specific retirement age requirements for those born between 1938 and 1942, as well as 1955 and 1959. A person born in 1942 will be able to retire at 65, 10 months, while a boomer born in 1956 will be 66, 4 months.
Delaying claiming Social Security until 70 can increase your benefits while those who sign up between 62 and full retirement age receive smaller monthly payments.
If you delay taking Social Security up until age 70, your benefit increases by 8% every year if you delay taking it from the time you reach full retirement age.
What is the best time to start collecting Social Security benefits?
A person can begin receiving Social Security benefits at the age of 62, though the amount will be smaller than if they wait. Waiting until full retirement age (67 for those born in 1960 or later) will allow you to collect more money, but over a shorter period of time. The situation of each individual varies, however. The Social Security Administration notes that “there’s not a single ‘best age’ and, in the end, it’s your choice.”
Consider these questions when:
- What is your ideal retirement age?
- Do you have enough money to retire?
It is critical to consider your lifestyle, health, life expectancy, and where you will live in retirement. This is when determining when you can retire. Your 401(k) contributions and retirement savings also play a role. Also consider other sources of income you might have in retirement, such as a part-time job, annuity, or pension.
Do I have to pay a certain amount?
As of 2023, workers will pay 6.2% of their income into Social Security up to $160,200. Another 6.2% is contributed by employers. The self-employed are responsible for both portions, which is 12.4%.
What is the amount I can expect?
Social Security benefits are based on your lifetime earnings. There is a formula that averages your 35 highest-earning years, but it is quite complicated. If you already have 40 Social Security credits, you can estimate your retirement benefits online.