February 4, 2019

YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY | Davenport, Iowa Office

By Linda Clayton-Powell
Social Security District Manager
Davenport, Iowa

SOCIAL SECURITY AND AMERICA SAVES WEEK

Planning and saving are core elements to a successful retirement. For over 80 years, Social Security has helped Americans achieve that goal. And each year, the American Savings Education Council and America Saves coordinate America Saves Week. The week is an opportunity for organizations to promote good savings behavior; it is also a great time for people to assess their own saving status.

Social Security is collaborating with America Saves Week to promote our shared mission of helping millions of people prepare for their future. This year, we’re celebrating the week from February 25 through March 2. Join the #ASW19 movement by using this hashtag when posting about your savings goals.

It’s never too early to start planning for your retirement. Set a goal, make a plan, and save automatically. Savers with a plan are twice as likely to save successfully. Pledge to save for America Saves Week at www.americasaves.org.

Social Security has many tools for retirement planning. You can access our online information and resources at www.socialsecurity.gov/planners/retire.

Younger people know that the earlier they start saving, the more their money can grow. Our website for young
workers at www.socialsecurity.gov/people/earlycareer has resources that can help you secure today and tomorrow.

SOCIAL SECURITY AND SELF EMPLOYMENT

If you are not self-employed, Social Security taxes are typically taken out of your paycheck automatically. You and your employer each pay a 6.2 percent Social Security tax on up to $132,900 of your earnings and a 1.45 percent Medicare tax on all earnings in 2019. You don’t have to do anything extra for the coverage you will one day receive because your employers handle the deduction as well as matching that contribution. Then they send the taxes to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and report your wages to Social Security.

If you’re self-employed, the process is a little different. You report your earnings for Social Security and pay your taxes directly to the IRS when you file your federal income tax return. You pay the combined employee and employer amount, which is a 12.4 percent Social Security tax on up to $132,900 of your net earnings and a 2.9 percent Medicare tax on your entire net earnings in 2019. You are considered self-employed if you operate a trade, business or profession, either by yourself or as a partner. If your net earnings are $400 or more in a year, you must report your earnings on Schedule SE, in addition to other tax forms you must file.

Net earnings for Social Security are your gross earnings from your trade or business, minus your allowable business deductions and depreciation. Some income doesn’t count for Social Security and shouldn’t be included in figuring your net earnings.

You must have worked and paid Social Security taxes for a certain length of time to get Social Security benefits. The amount of time you need to work depends on your date of birth, but no one needs more than 10 years of work.

You can read more about self-employment and Social Security at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/EN-05-10022.pdf.

SOCIAL SECURITY AND BLACK HISTORY MONTH

In February, our nation honors African Americans by celebrating Black History Month. Recognizing our shared history is one way we can affirm our belief in freedom and democracy for all. For more than 80 years, Social Security has helped secure today and tomorrow with financial benefits, information, and tools for people of countless backgrounds and ethnicities that make up our richly diverse country.

One of our popular tools is the online Retirement Estimator. With it, you can plug in some basic information to get an instant, personalized estimate of your future benefits. Different life events or choices can alter the course of your future, so try out different scenarios such as higher and lower future earnings amounts and various retirement dates to get a good prediction of how it can change your future benefit amounts. You can access it at www.socialsecurity.gov/benefits/retirement/estimator.html.

If you find that helpful, we have a number of calculators to help you prepare for retirement at www.socialsecurity.gov/planners/calculators.

We also pay disability benefits to people with medical conditions that could prevent them from working for 12 or more months or result in death. If the disabled person has dependent family members, they may also be eligible to receive payments.

We pay disability through two programs: the Social Security Disability Insurance program, for people who have worked and paid Social Security taxes long enough to be eligible, and the Supplemental Security Income program, which is a means-tested program for people who are 65 or older, as well as people of any age, including children, who are blind or have disabilities.

Widows, widowers, and their dependent children may be eligible for Social Security survivors benefits. Social Security helps by providing income for the families of workers who die. In fact, 98 of every 100 children could get benefits if a working parent dies. And Social Security pays more benefits to children than any other federal program.

You can learn more about retirement, survivors, and disability benefits, at www.socialsecurity.gov/benefits. Social Security is with you through life’s journey, helping secure today and tomorrow for you and your family. Visit us today at www.socialsecurity.gov/people/africanamericans.

Filed Under: Finance, Retirement