Houston Social Security

Social Security Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) in 2021

Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) checks will increase by 1.3% for cost of living in 2021. The purpose of the COLA is to ensure that beneficiaries' purchasing power is not eroded by inflation.  The COLA is based on the consumer price index for urban wage earners and clerical workers (CPI-W), which is determined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  If there is no increase in CPI-W, there is no COLA for Social Security benefits, even though health care costs may be likely to increase.  Automatic annual COLAs were authorized by the U.S. Congress in 1972 and began in 1975.

2021 Maximum Taxable Earnings

The maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax is $142,800. 

Earnings  Limit Increase

The earnings limit is $18,960 for Social Security beneficiaries who retire before their full retirement age.  Social Security deducts $1 from benefits for each $2 of earnings above the limit, or $18,960 in 2021.  If Social Security withholds part of your benefits because you continue to work, you will receive a higher monthly benefit amount when you reach full retirement age.  There is no limit on the earnings of beneficiaries who have attained full retirement age.

When to Retire and Start Receiving Social Security Benefits?

Generally, the longer you delay receiving Social Security benefits, the higher your monthly benefit amount will be.  An individual who begins receiving retirement benefits early at age 62, will receive only about 70-75% of the full retirement monthly benefit amount for his or her lifetime.  The age for full retirement benefits is as follows:

Year of Birth Retirement Age
Up to 1937 65
1938 65 + 2 months
1939 65 + 4 months
1940 65 + 6 months
1941 65 + 8 months
1942 65 + 10 months
1943-1954 66
1955 66 + 2 months
1956 66 + 4 months
1957 66 + 6 months
1958 66 + 8 months
1959 66 + 10 months
1960 or later 67


Delayed Retirement Credits

If an individual delays taking retirement benefits until after reaching full retirement age, the monthly benefit amount that he or she is entitled to receive is increased by 5.5% to 8% per year depending on birth year.  For example, if you were born in 1943 or later and you delay taking benefits until after full retirement age, your monthly benefit is increased by 8% for each year you delay retiring up to age 70.  After you reach age 70, the monthly benefit amount is not increased further, even if you continue to delay taking benefits.

Year of Birth

Yearly Increase

Monthly Increase
1933 - 1934 5.5% 11/24 of 1%
1935 - 1936 6% 1/2 of 1%
1937 - 1938 6.5% 13/24 of 1%
1939 - 1940 7% 7/12 of 1%
1941 - 1942 7.5% 5/8 of 1%
1943 or later 8% 2/3 of 1%




Attorney Nancy Stone assists clients with Elder Law, Medicaid Planning, and Estate Planning throughout Harris County, TX. I am now based in Sugar Land and serve all of Houston, Harris County, Bellaire, Jersey Village, Cypress, West University, The Heights, Pearland, Alvin, Sugar Land, Missouri City, Kingwood, Humble, The Woodlands, Spring, Tomball, Richmond, Rosenberg Pasadena, Baytown, La Porte, Clear Lake, Texas City, Katy, Friendswood, Stafford, as well as Fort Bend County, Brazoria County, Montgomery County, Galveston County, Liberty County, Chambers County, Waller County and throughout Southeast TX.

© 2022 The Stone Law Firm | Disclaimer
2245 Texas Drive, Suite 300, Sugar Land, TX 77479
| Phone: 713.434.6310 | 281.566.2500

Elder Care and Public Benefits | Medicare Enrollment | Nursing Home Laws and Resident Rights | Medicaid Planning | Qualified Income ("Miller") Trust | Elder Law | Durable Power of Attorney | Estate Planning, Wills, Trusts | VA Aid and Attendance Pension | Advance Directives | Medicaid Estate Recovery Program | Health Insurance | Medicare | Social Security | Disability and Special Needs Planning | Special Needs Planning | Veterans Benefits | Trusts & Estate Planning | Estate Planning with Wills


Attorney Website Design by
Amicus Creative