2024 Social Security Changes

2024 Social Security Changes

2024 Social Security
Find out how your benefits have changed

Average Retirement Benefits
Starting January 2024

Average Benefits – All Workers

  • 2024: $1,907/mo (+$80)
  • 2023: $1,827/mo

Maximum Benefits for Workers Retiring at Full Retirement Age

  • 2024: $3,822/mo (+$195)
  • 2023: $3,627/mo

An 3.2% cost of living increase for Social Security retirement benefits and SSI payments begins with December 2023 benefits (payable in January 2024).

Increase your Social Security retirement benefits by 5-8% per year when you delay applying until you’re age 70.

Social Security Revenues & Expenditures

Revenue Sources = $1.22 trillion

  • 3.9% – Taxation of benefits
  • 5.4% – Interest
  • 90.7% – Payroll taxes

Expenditures = $1.24 trillion

  • 0.6% – Administrative expenses
  • 0.4% – Railroad Retirement financial interchange
  • 99.0% – Benefit payments

SOURCE: 2023 Annual Report of the Board of Trustees of the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Disability Insurance Trust Funds, Table II.B1.

2024 Social Security & Medicare Tax Rates

If you work for someone else, your employer pays 7.65%

If you work for someone else, you pay 7.65%

If you’re self-employed, you pay 15.3%

NOTE: The above tax rates are a combination of 6.2% for Social Security and 1.45% for Medicare. There is also a 0.9% Medicare wages surtax for those with wages above $200,000 single ($250,000 joint filers) that is not reflected in these figures.

Maximum amount you may pay in Social Security taxes$10,453.20$9,932.40+$520.80
Maximum earnings amount Social Security will tax at 6.2%$168,600.00$160,200.00+$8,400.00
  • 182+ million people work and pay Social Security taxes
  • Social Security has provided financial protection for Americans since 1935

Social Security Payments Explained

  • Social Security (SS) retirement benefits are for people who have paid into the Social Security system through taxable income.
  • Social Security Disability (SSD or SSDI) benefits are for people who have disabilities but have paid into the Social Security the system through taxable income.
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits are for adults and children who have disabilities, plus limited income and resources.

Maximum SSI Payments

Filing Status20242023Change
Individual$943/mo$914/mo+ $29
Couple$1,415/mo$1,371/mo+ $44

How does Social Security work?

  • When you work, you pay taxes into Social Security.
  • The Social Security Administration uses your tax money to pay benefits to people right now.
  • Any unused money goes into Social Security trust funds and is borrowed by the government to pay for other programs.
  • Later on when you retire, you receive benefits.

How to qualify for retirement benefits

When you work and pay Social Security taxes, you earn credits toward benefits. The number of credits you need to earn retirement benefits depends on when you were born.

  • If you were born in 1929 or later, you need 40 credits (10 years of work) to receive retirement benefits
  • You receive one credit for each $1,730 of earnings in 2024
  • 4 credits maximum per year

Did you know you can check your benefits status before you retire?

  • You can check online by creating a my Social Security account on the SSA website. If you don’t have an account, you’ll be mailed a paper Social Security statement 3 months before your 61st birthday.
  • It shows your year-by-year earnings, and estimates of retirement, survivors and disability benefits you and your family may be able to receive now and in the future.
  • If it doesn’t show earnings from a state or local government employer, contact them. The work may not be covered within Social Security.

Sources: SSA.gov

Take a Look at Better Savings Rates

Take a Look at Better Savings Rates

A silver lining to continued interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve is being able to earn more interest on cash stashed in your savings accounts. How much interest, exactly, you can earn depends on where you do your banking. Consider these tips to earn as much interest as you can, even if it means opening a new account:

  • Earn a bank bonus. Some banks offer a bonus if you meet specific requirements, such as depositing a minimum amount or setting up direct deposit. These bonuses can give you an incentive to try a new bank while padding your savings with a few extra hundred dollars.
  • Look beyond your local bank. If you want to earn enough interest on your savings to keep up with inflation, look beyond your local bank to the range of online banks offering much higher interest rates. For example, Chase banking customers are currently earning 0.01% on their savings, while those who save with UFB Direct are earning 5.06% APY with no monthly maintenance fees or minimum balance requirements.
  • Take advantage of new banking tools.Bankrate.com shows approximately 60% of consumers are very or somewhat interested in using a digital bank in the coming year. This is partly due to the digitization of nearly all other aspects of our lives, but it’s also due to convenient online tools like mobile check deposit, virtual account management and bill pay features.
  • Watch out for fees. Take note that many of the best bank accounts with great rates don’t charge monthly maintenance fees or any hidden fees. However, you’ll want to read over the fine print for accounts you’re considering so you know for sure. This is especially true with CD’s at some banks that tease with high interest rates, but hide the 1% to 3% penalties of your balance for early withdrawal.
  • Stability is important. When making a banking move, double check to ensure your deposits are FDIC insured. But even if insured, you still should check the press for any indication of deposit risk at your chosen bank. And if your current bank is still offering low interest rates, it may be subject to deposit flight limits that may create difficulty removing your funds. So while your money is insured, it may be hard to withdraw should this happen.

Today’s interest rates can be a boon for your finances, but you’ll need to put in some work up front to find the best bank for your particular situation. Shop around for a new bank and look for ways to get ahead, either through banking bonuses, great rates or both. The time and effort you spend will be worth it in the end!

Mitigating Business Risk with Cross-Training

Mitigating Business Risk with Cross-Training

Cross-training to ensure more than one person knows key functional areas can be a win-win situation for you and your employees. Large companies often use it to prepare managers for future promotions. But in small companies, cross-training can be a great way to mitigate risk.

How you implement cross-training will depend on the size and nature of your business. Consider prioritizing the departments that need and/or want cross-training the most. These departments may be understaffed or have many new employees. Look for important functions that are currently dependent on a single person’s knowledge. These areas should be a focus of your cross-training program.

As you implement a cross-training program, here are a few tips to help you along the way:

  • Document your key processes. You cannot cross-train if you don’t know the process. These written processes will turn into training documents as you implement your program. So your first step is identifying key processes and procedures and having your current people that are doing these functions to get them down on paper or documented through short videos.
  • Communicate to your team. Get everyone in step before starting a cross-training program. Help your team understand why the company is cross-training your team. Reasons may be to prepare for organizational growth or new industry standards, to cover functions when someone is on vacation, or to adjust to a changing structure that’s focused around roles and responsibilities. Then continue to communicate with your team throughout the process with status updates and next steps.
  • Present cross-training as an opportunity. Your employees may be more resistant to cross-training if it feels like it’s an obligation or a threat to their roles. You can help them feel motivated by highlighting the benefits, like developing different skill sets and having a better understanding of how their contributions positively impact other parts of the business.
  • Start with a small pilot program. Test the waters with a select group of employees to get a better understanding of what works and what needs to be tweaked. You can then expand the program later as you gain insight and experience.
  • Determine cross-training hours. Figure out how much time can be dedicated to cross-training for each team to still run efficiently. This may include setting aside a few hours each day, or setting aside full days for a certain period of time to focus on cross-training. If your business is seasonal, ramp up cross-training during your low seasonal period.
  • Listen to feedback. You may learn that some employees have already started cross-training on their own. You can use this kind of valuable feedback to fine-tune your official cross-training program.

Keep in mind that some employees may resist having to train others, and productivity may suffer in the short-term. But remember the cost of not cross-training – if you lose a key employee and no one else knows how to do their tasks, your business may have trouble finding a replacement.

Year-End Tax Planning Tips for Your Business

Year-End Tax Planning Tips for Your Business

As 2023 winds down, here are some ideas to help you prepare for filing your upcoming tax return:

  • Informational returns. Identify all vendors who require a 1099-MISC and a 1099-NEC. Obtain tax identification numbers (TINs) for each of these vendors if you have not already done so.
  • Shifting income and expenses. Consider accelerating income, or deferring earnings, based on profit projections.
  • Be prepared to receive a Form 1099-K. You may receive a Form 1099-K from each payment processor from whom you receive $600 or more in payments. In addition to credit card companies and banks, payment processors can include Amazon, Etsy, PayPal, Venmo and Apple Pay. You’ll need to include the 1099-K on your tax return.
  • Categorize income and expenses. The best way to prepare for receiving a 1099-K is to organize your records by major categories of income, expenses and fixed asset purchases. If your accounting records are accurate, then any tax form, including a 1099-K, should be easy to tie out to your books.
  • Separation of expenses. Review business accounts to ensure personal expenses are not present. Reimburse the business for any expenses discovered during this review.
  • Create expense reports. Having expense reports with supporting invoices and business credit card statements with corresponding invoices will help substantiate your deductions in the event of an audit.
  • Fixed asset planning. Section 179 or bonus depreciation expensing versus traditional depreciation is a great planning tool. If using Section 179, the qualified assets must be placed in service prior to year-end.
  • Leveraging business meals. Business meals with clients or customers are 50% deductible. Retain the necessary receipts and documentation that note when the meal took place, who attended and the business purpose on each receipt.
  • Charitable opportunities. Consider any last-minute deductible charitable giving including long-term capital gain stocks.
  • Cell phone record review. Review your telephone records for qualified business use. While expensing a single landline out of a home office can be difficult to deduct, cell phone use can be documented and deducted for business purposes.
  • Inventory review. Review your inventory for proper counts and remove obsolete or worthless products. Keep track of the obsolete and worthless amounts for a potential deduction.
  • Review your receivables. Focus on collection activities and review your uncollectible accounts for possible write-offs.
  • Review your estimated tax payments. Recap your year-to-date estimated tax payments and compare them to your forecast of full year earnings. Then make your 2023 4th quarter estimated tax payment by January 16, 2024.
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