It’s no surprise that due to the increased level of inflation that this country is experiencing, the Social Security COLA, or cost-of-living adjustment, is staggering. Other 2023 Social Security changes beyond the COLA are on tap, too.
For 2023, those collecting Social Security will see a COLA increase of 8.7%. This means that if you are collecting $2,000 a month in 2022, next year you’ll see that number go up to $2,174 per month.
In addition, there will also be an adjustment for tax purposes next year when it comes to paying into Social Security. In 2022, the threshold to pay into Social Security is $147,000. This number is also referred to as the taxable minimum – but it really means that it’s the amount of your income that is subject to Social Security taxation. Anything you make above that amount is not subject to further taxation for Social Security.
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In 2023, that threshold is increasing to $160,200. So next year, the first $160,200 of your income will be taxed for Social Security at a rate of 7.65%.
It’s also important to note that if you’ve reached your full retirement age (FRA), while you’re still working, you will have $1 in benefits withheld for every $2 in earnings you make above the earnings limit. In 2022, that amount is $19,560, and in 2023, it will increase to $21,240 in earnings.
To complicate things further, the year an individual reaches their FRA, the income limit goes from $51,960 per year to $56,520 per year. This applies only to earnings for the months prior to attaining your FRA. $1 in benefits will be withheld for every $3 in earnings above this limit. The good news is the month after you reach your FRA, there is no reduction whatsoever.
Do These Changes Change Your Plans?
As financial planners, we often advocate for not taking your Social Security benefits while you’re still earning income, as you receive less than you’re eligible to collect, but if you wait, your benefits will keep increasing for the years that you aren’t ‘t earning later.
While you can start collecting Social Security at age 62 on a reduced benefit, you can wait as late as age 70 on a full benefit. If you’re older than 70, there’s no additional benefit to waiting, as you’ve already achieved the most benefit possible.
When you’re determining when to take your own Social Security, there are many factors to consider, beyond your age and when you stop working. Take into account your investments and at what rate they’ll be taxed, in addition to what other fixed incomes you may have during retirement.
You’ll also want to account for your general health and life expectancy. Your spouse, their age and their own Social Security will play into this equation as well.
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