Correct. Actually, whenever you apply for benefits, the application should take care of this for you. You can use SSA's online calculator here, to see what benefits you would have based on your own earnings, if you like.
Found an exert from a Fox Business article on Tapping Your Ex for Social Security Benefits… and Making the Most of It. You should find this helpful. (FRA stands for full retirement age)
Make the Most of It
If you begin a divorced spouse benefit before your FRA, Social Security will first check to see if you would get a bigger check based upon your own work history. You will receive whichever benefit is higher, and you are locked into this.
However, waiting until you are full retirement age to begin Social Security could significantly increase your benefit. This is because if you are eligible for two types of Social Security benefits- say, one based upon your own earnings record and one based on your ex-spouse’s- once you reach FRA you can choose which type you want to receive.
So, I would recommend thinking about what age you actually want to retire, if you have any choice that is. Your monthly payouts will be considerably larger, the longer you wait, up until the age of 65-67, depending on your birth year and month.
And then when you file, do so as a divorced spouse, and the SSA dept will also check your work history, and pay you the higher amount.
Information You Need To Apply For Spouse's Or Divorced Spouse's Benefits - Form SSA-2
Sounds like roughly 3-5% cut to funding overall. I wonder where this money is being reallocated? Any ideas?
This should help a lot of families wanting to mitigate college expenses:
The American Opportunity Tax Credit
Like most tax credits, I would wager most aren't aware of this. But it can save you a lot of money on your taxes, to offset tuition costs. So it could be worth considering paying for tuition at least in part out of pocket. Here's an exert:
The most generous tax breaks for college costs are the American Opportunity Tax Credit and Lifetime Learning Credit, which offset your tax bill dollar-for-dollar compared to a tax deduction that merely reduces the amount of income subject to tax. You can't claim both credits for the same student in the same year, and income limits restrict who can claim them.
For 2016, you can claim the American Opportunity Tax Credit of up to $2,500 if your student is in his or her first four years of college and your income doesn't exceed $160,000 if you are married filing a joint return ($80,000 for single taxpayers).
Above these income levels, the credit is phased out. The credit is based on 100% of the first $2,000 of qualifying college expenses and 25% of the next $2,000, for a maximum possible credit of $2,500.
The American Opportunity Tax Credit can be claimed for as many eligible students as you have in your family.
For example, if you have three kids who are all in their first four years of college, you can potentially qualify for up to $7,500 of American Opportunity Tax Credits. Up to 40% of the American Opportunity Tax Credit amount is refundable. That means you can collect at least some of any credit amount that is left over after your federal income tax bill has been reduced to zero.
You should definitely contribute, if you can. Also, if you make below certain amounts annually, you can also deduct the 401k contributions from your taxes using what's called the Savers Credit.
You can get anywhere from $200-$1000 credit toward your tax bill if you end up owing. But not money back. It just reduces your bill. Still, extra incentive for using a 401k.
Here's more info on if you qualify and how much you can get off your taxes:
What Is The Savers Credit?
It's a bit ironic (is that the right use of the word here? I never know), anyways it's ironic that the govt agency in charge of gathering taxes to fund almost the entirety of the govt itself is hurting for resources and making budget cuts.
32 states have adopted the Medicaid expansion program, under the ACA. That includes DC, leaving 19 states that have opted out. Currently this expansion program is being discussed, at least as to how it will continue to be funded in the wake of the Trump admin wanting to repeal and replace the ACA (Obamacare).
Luckily for the millions taking advantage of the expansion program, it seems as though the current idea is to continue to federally fund the expansion programs for the 32 states in full, until 2020. After that, hard to say. I have seen citings that the funding will drop to 90% after 2020. But could be much more severe. Also, this 2020 date is not concrete or official just yet; it's just the current House Committee proposal. But seeing as this is at least the current bargaining date, my feeling is it will end up being quite close to this.
What do you make of this? Should Medicaid Expansion be re-worked if and when the ACA gets changed/repealed/replaced/or even left untouched? If so, how?
Good thread. Wanted to bump to include this:
4 Tax Breaks Millennials Can’t Afford to Miss
Includes some that we haven't yet covered here, mainly:
Retirement Saver's Credit. If you make less than $30,500 and are already putting money back for retirement, then you qualify for a $1000 tax credit.
Lifetime Learning Credit. If you are paying for your schooling mostly out of pocket and make less than $64k, you can possibly qualify for as much as a $2,000 credit as well.
Moving Expense Deduction. If you relocated because of a job switch more than 50 miles away, you can deduct - driving expenses, shipping and storage fees, plus the costs of hiring a moving van.
Share more if you can find any.
Just went through this process, so figured I'd share a good resource for getting prior year tax return transcripts. Depending on what you need, it's a fairly easy process. But some requests take considerably longer than others, so keep that in mind especially since April 15th is approaching.
How to Get a Transcript or Copy of a Prior Year Tax Return
This is the best resource I could find. It's the official IRS site's guide. Gives you the ability to make requests for either tax return requests OR tax account requests (if changes were made after you originally filed). Plus it's completely free. By making the request online or by phone, it takes 5-10 business days to get the transcript. 30 days via standard mail.
That's good for the last 3 years of filing anyways. If you find yourself needing more than that, or the actual complete copy of your filed and processed tax return (like I did) it's a little more involved. And not free. Costs $57 for each year. Takes 60 days to deliver, and you have to first mail the IRS a 4506 form (details in the link).
Anyways, took me a bit to figure all this out. So hope this helps someone needing transcripts. For most people, simply requesting your prior year transcript from IRS.gov is the easiest and fastest way to get the info you need.
I see your point of view and can't say I necessarily disagree in theory, but my issue is just with fairness. The reason some states have no sales tax is because their income or other taxes are higher. And knowing that people are taking advantage of that just rubs me the wrong way.
To my point though, wouldn't it be most fair if Washington collected those taxes and sent them back to the state in which they actually reside?
It's an interesting topic. I think the party that is actually getting slighted the most in this scenario would be the companies that sell retail goods on the border, in the state that has the sales tax. Since the consumer is breaking zero laws driving to another state to buy whatever, kinda sucks for whatever establishment to have this state imposed, added competition barrier to deal with.
I actually think the opposite. I have a feeling that President Trump would sign anything the Congress sends him and then try to spin it to his advantage. I just can't see him vetoing something that the House and Senate sends him which privatizes Medicaid and cuts Social Security.
Interesting. I'm no Trump fan, but I totally can envision him vetoing any bill he doesn't like. Would be a big moment in history for the Republican party if he does.