6 Reasons You Possibly Won’t Get Social Security

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For many American workers, Social Security benefits are the golden carrot that awaits them at the end of a long career. While you can start collecting some of your Social Security benefits from age 62, according to the Social Security Administration, until age 70 you will continue to receive a larger amount each year if you delay taking benefits. However, this assumes that you have purchased enough credits to even get these benefits.
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Not every worker can look forward to these benefits, and it is better to know this in advance so that you can either correct the situation or make other financial plans for retirement. There are a handful of instances where an employee may not have purchased Social Security. Here are six reasons you might be missing out.
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You don't have enough Social Security credit
To pay your way into the Social Security system, you must earn "credits" through work that allow you to qualify for these benefits, which the American Association of Retired People (AARP) says take effect at retirement.
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In 2021, you received a credit for every $1,470 in wages or self-employment income you earn. According to the Social Security Administration, the maximum you can earn is four credits in a year. Each person needs a total of 40 credits to qualify for any type of Social Security benefit. So if you haven't worked enough to earn all 40 credits, you may not qualify for these benefits.
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You're one of those government employees
While the government generally takes care of its employees, there are some state, county, and local exceptions for employees who do not receive Social Security benefits. Instead, these employees pay into and receive government-funded pension plans. These include:
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US government employees hired before 1984 – they receive pensions under the old civil service pension scheme
Railway employees - their pension system dates back to the 1930s
Foreign nationals working in the United States for their home governments, e.g. B. ambassadors, or employees for international organizations, e.g. B. the United Nations
Most security forces/first responders such as police and firefighters
Many K-12 teachers
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You have not paid the self-employment tax
Many self-employed entrepreneurs may not be aware that you now have to pay direct Social Security twice: once as an individual and once on behalf of your business. Self-employment tax must be paid along with your federal tax return.
If you either don't file a tax return or file an incorrect tax return, you may not have enough Social Security credit to receive benefits when you retire (and if you consistently fail to pay those taxes, you could get into legal trouble).
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they are divorced
Be careful if you're divorced and haven't earned enough credit to get Social Security benefits yourself and expect to receive half your ex-spouse's benefits. You must be single, 62 or older, and on less money and benefits than your ex-spouse. If you've been married for less than 10 years, you're not eligible for your spouse's benefits, according to Investopedia.
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You retire abroad
If you retire outside of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, or American Samoa, you may not be able to receive Social Security payments, according to Investopedia. Countries to which the US does not send payments include Azerbaijan, Belarus, Cuba, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, North Korea, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan or Uzbekistan. There may be exceptions, but you must check the Social Security Administration's Payments Abroad Screening Tool to determine if you are eligible to receive payments if you live outside the United States.
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You are an immigrant
Immigrants who came to the United States later in life and were unable to earn the 40 work credits required to qualify for Social Security benefits will not be able to receive these funds in retirement. There is a solution, however, which is to earn six work credits in the United States that entitle the individual to prorated US benefits. This can be combined with prorated benefits from their former country in what is known as a "totalization deal."
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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: 6 Reasons You May Not Receive Social Security

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