Social Security Q&A

Q: My wife didn’t work enough to earn 40 credits to qualify for Social Security retirement benefits. Can she qualify on my record?

A:  Even if your wife has never worked under Social Security, she may be able to get benefits if she is at least 62 years of age and you are receiving or eligible for retirement or disability benefits. If your wife qualifies on her own record, we will pay that amount first. If the benefit on your record is higher, she will get an additional amount on your record so that the combination of benefits equals that higher amount. The same is true for any spouse, regardless of their sex.

Q: I’m retiring early, before full retirement age, and I receive investment income from a rental property I own. I’ve heard there’s a limit on income I can make if I retire early. Does investment income from my rental property count as earnings for Social Security purposes?

A:  No. We count only the wages you earn from a job or your net profit if you’re self-employed. Non-work income such as annuities, investment income, interest, capital gains, and other government benefits are not counted and will not affect your Social Security benefits. Most pensions will not affect your benefits. However, your benefit may be affected by government pensions earned through work on which you did not pay Social Security tax.

Q: How can I get my Social Security Statement?

A:  You can get your personal statement online by using your own My Social Security account. To set up or use your account to get your online statement, go to www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.  We also mail statements to workers attaining ages 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, 60 and older, three months prior to their birthday, if they don’t receive Social Security benefits and don’t have a My Social Security account.

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