The 18 Biggest Mistakes People Make With Social Security

The 18 Biggest Mistakes People Make With Social Security

Estimated Reading Time: 7 minute(s) and 10 second(s)

Social security is a significant part of retirement planning, and making the wrong mistakes can mean a lot of unhappy times ahead.

Here are the 18 biggest mistakes people make with social security:

1. Not Thinking Ahead

One of the people’s biggest mistakes with social security is not thinking about it. Many people wait until they reach retirement age to start thinking about their social security benefits, and by that time, it may be too late. If you want to retire comfortably, you need to start planning for social security sooner than later.

2. Taking Too Little Benefit

If you take your social security benefits as early as possible, you can avoid many penalties and still receive a decent amount of money. However, if you wait too long to take your benefits, you could make less money than if you had taken them earlier in your career.

This could mean a big hit to your retirement income, so it’s crucial to weigh all the options carefully before making any decisions about social security.

3. Failing to Complete the Required Work Credits

If you’re planning on receiving disability benefits from social security, it’s important to remember that you must complete the required work credits before claiming these benefits. By failing to do so, you could lose out on a large portion of your disability benefit – something that should not be taken lightly!

4. Making Multiple Claimants in a Row

biggest mistakes people make with social security

                                                                                                   Source | Unsplash

If someone in your family dies or becomes disabled, it’s crucial to ensure that you don’t make multiple claims for social security benefits in a row. Doing so can delay processing your claim and potential penalties – not something anyone wants on their shoulders!

5. Failing to Save for the Future

One of the critical things that people need to do when planning for their retirement is to save for the future – both for regular expenses like gas and groceries and any big-ticket items like a home or car purchase. If you don’t have enough saved up by the time they reach retirement age, Social Security won’t provide as much income as they might otherwise be able to. This can lead to some miserable times ahead!

6. Not Contributing Enough

One of the people’s biggest mistakes with social security is not contributing enough. You’re leaving yourself vulnerable to reduced benefits if you reach retirement age by not putting money away. And even if you do contribute, making too much money could reduce your benefit amount.

7. Taking Early Retirement

Another common mistake people make with social security is taking early retirement. This can reduce your benefits by as much as 50%. If you take early retirement, be sure to factor this into your calculations so that you’re not left shocked when retirement arrives.

8. Claiming Disability Benefits Before Reaching Retirement Age

Another mistake people often make with social security is claiming disability benefits before they reach retirement age. As a result, they may get more money than they would have if they had waited until they retired. However, claiming disability benefits before reaching retirement age can also leave you unable to work for a period, significantly impacting your Social Security income.

9. Not Understanding How Social Security Works

Another common mistake people make is not understanding how Social Security works and how it affects their benefits. For example, many people mistakenly believe that their benefit amount is based solely on their salary and contributions made during their working years. But in reality, Social Security also factors in your income from other sources such as pensions and unemployment insurance.

10. Failing to Review Their Situation Regularly

biggest mistakes people make with social security

                                                                                                   Source | Unsplash

Finally, another common mistake people make with social security is failing to review their situation regularly and consider whether any changes might need to be made to their plan. For example, if someone’s income changes or they retire or switch jobs, it’s important to adjust their strategy accordingly to continue receiving the maximum benefit possible.

11. Failing to Take Into Account Inflation

Many people do not consider inflation when thinking about their Social Security benefits. Unfortunately, this can result in a significant decrease in their retirement benefits. Therefore, it is essential to be aware of inflation to decide how much money you will need to save to ensure a comfortable retirement.

12. Not Taking Into Account Their Health Insurance Situation

Many people do not consider their health insurance situation when thinking about their Social Security benefits. For example, if you are still working and have health insurance through your job, you may be able to continue receiving benefits based on your current income and coverage.

However, if you stop working or switch jobs, you may no longer be eligible for social security benefits.

13. Failing to Factor in Taxes

One of the most significant factors determining the number of social security benefits someone receives is their income tax rate. Therefore, if you expect a substantial increase in your income due to taxes, it is essential to factor this into your calculations to receive the maximum benefit possible from social security.

14. Not Realizing Their Benefit Cap

When calculating their social security benefits, one common mistake does not realize their benefit cap. The benefit cap is the maximum amount of money someone can receive in social security benefits. If your income exceeds this limit, part of your benefits will be reduced.

Therefore, it is essential to factor in your income and Social Security Benefits calculator to ensure that you receive the maximum amount possible from social security based on your situation.

15. Not Taking Advantage of Special Benefits

biggest mistakes people make with social security

                                                                                                   Source | Unsplash

There are several notable benefits that people can receive from social security. These benefits may include disability benefits, widow(er) benefits, and retirement income benefits. It is essential to consult with a social security specialist to determine which benefit would be the best for you based on your situation.

16. Assuming That Their Social Security Benefit Will Always Be There                                                              

Many people assume that their social security benefits will always be there. However, this is not always the case. For example, social security may eventually stop providing benefits if they have not worked for a certain amount of time or their income has increased beyond certain limits.

Therefore, it is important to contact Social Security Benefits calculator if you have any questions about your benefit eligibility or how changes in your situation may impact your benefit.

17. Not Coordinating With Spouse: Married Couples Need to Coordinate Claims to Maximize Payouts

Social Security is a great program that provides retirement benefits to Americans who have worked hard. However, people make some common mistakes when it comes to social security. One of the biggest mistakes people make is not coordinating their claims with their spouses.

When couples don’t coordinate their claims, they can get different benefits based on what they claim and when. This can lead to a lot of confusion and frustration for both spouses. Instead, couples can maximize their payouts and ensure that they get the most out of this vital program by working together to coordinate their social security claims.

18. Poor Investment Choices: People Make Lousy Investment Choices That Can Impact Their Social Security Benefits

People’s biggest mistake with their Social Security benefits is not investing in the right way. Many people rely on Social Security as their only source of income and do not take the necessary precautions to ensure their benefits will be there when they need them. This can lead to several problems, including poor investment choices that can impact the amount of money they receive each month.

It is crucial for individuals to have a solid retirement plan and to understand how their Social Security benefits will work into that plan. If someone relies only on Social Security income, they should also consider other options, such as private pensions or savings accounts, to have some financial backup. By making smart investment choices now, individuals can ensure they can live comfortably when they retire. 


There are a few big mistakes that people make when it comes to Social Security. Not understanding how the system works, not claiming benefits when they’re eligible, and underestimating how much money they’ll need in retirement are all common errors.

However, there are ways to avoid these mistakes and get the most out of Social Security. For example, by planning ahead and speaking to a financial advisor, people can make sure they’re taking advantage of all the benefits available to them.

Related FAQ(s)

How can we avoid costly mistakes in Social Security?

One way to avoid costly mistakes in social security is to become familiar with the program and its policies. It is important to understand the different aspects of social security, including eligibility requirements, benefits, and taxes.

Additionally, it is helpful to consult a financial planner or other expert who can help you make the most of your social security benefits.

Finally, be sure to keep up to date on any changes to the program so that you can adjust your plan as needed.

Why do people disagree with Social Security?

People disagree with social security because they believe that it is not an effective way to help the elderly and disabled. They argue that it is a waste of money, and that the government could be using the money to fund other programs.

Additionally, some people believe that social security is unconstitutional, because it forces people to pay into a system that they may never benefit from.

Can you outlive your Social Security benefits?

No, you cannot outlive your Social Security benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) estimates that the average American man who reaches the age of 65 will live to age 84, while the average American woman reaching age 65 is expected to live to 86.

Therefore, even if you live beyond your estimated life expectancy, you will still receive some benefits.

Additionally, the SSA offers survivors’ benefits to certain individuals who outlive their spouses or parents, which can provide additional income.

Does Social Security ever make mistakes?

There is no one perfect system that can account for all the complexities of the real world. As a result, it is inevitable that any social security system will make mistakes at times.

These mistakes can range from wrongly denying someone benefits to incorrectly paying out benefits.

However, most mistakes are caught and corrected before they cause too much harm. In general, social security systems around the world work fairly well, despite making occasional errors.

What is the main problem facing Social Security?

The main problem facing Social Security is the impending retirement of the baby boomer generation. As more and more baby boomers retire, the number of people receiving benefits from Social Security will exceed the number of people paying into the system, leading to a shortfall in funding.

This shortfall could potentially lead to benefit cuts or tax increases for current and future generations.

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