Learn the lingo of So­cial Se­cu­rity to max­i­mize your ben­e­fits

The Palm Beach Post - Neighborhood Post - Southern Palm Beach County - - Front Page - Maria Diaz So­cial Se­cu­rity Maria Diaz is a pub­lic af­fairs spe­cial­ist for the So­cial Se­cu­rity Ad­min­is­tra­tion. If you have So­cial Se­cu­rity ques­tions, call 800-772-1213.

Does So­cial Se­cu­rity come up in your con­ver­sa­tions these days? Are you fa­mil­iar with the lingo used to de­scribe So­cial Se­cu­rity ben­e­fits, or does it sound like a new vo­cab­u­lary to you?

So­cial Se­cu­rity em­ploy­ees strive to ex­plain ben­e­fits us­ing easy-to-un­der­stand, plain lan­guage. But if a tech­ni­cal term or acro­nym that you don’t know slips into the con­ver­sa­tion or ap­pears in writ­ten ma­te­rial, you can eas­ily find the mean­ing in our on­line glos­sary at www. so­cialse­cu­rity.gov/agency/ glos­sary.

So­cial Se­cu­rity acronyms func­tion as ver­bal short­hand in our fi­nan­cial plan­ning con­ver­sa­tions. If you’re near­ing re­tire­ment, you may want to know what PIA (pri­mary in­sur­ance amount), FRA (full re­tire­ment age), and DRCs (de­layed re­tire­ment cred­its) mean. These terms in­volve your ben­e­fit amount based on when you de­cide to take it.

If you take your re­tire- ment ben­e­fit at FRA, you’ll re­ceive the full PIA (amount payable for a re­tired worker who starts ben­e­fits at full re­tire­ment age). So, FRA is an age and PIA is an amount.

What about DRCs? De­layed re­tire­ment cred­its are the in­cre­men­tal in­creases added to the PIA if you de­lay tak­ing re­tire­ment ben­e­fits be­yond your full re­tire­ment age. If you wait to be­gin ben­e­fits be­yond FRA — say, at age 68 or even 70 — your ben­e­fit in­creases.

Once you re­ceive ben­e­fits, you get a COLA most years. But don’t ex­pect a re­fresh­ing drink — a COLA is a Cost of Liv­ing Ad­just­ment, and that will usu­ally mean a little ex­tra money in your monthly pay­ment.

Know­ing some of these terms can help you fine­tune your con­ver­sa­tions about So­cial Se­cu­rity. If one of those un­known terms or acronyms does come up in con­ver­sa­tion, you can be the one to sup­ply the def­i­ni­tion us­ing our on­line glos­sary. Some­times learn­ing the lingo can deepen your un­der­stand­ing of how So­cial Se­cu­rity works for you. Dis­cover more at www. so­cialse­cu­rity.gov.

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