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Celebrating our nation's diversity

Martin Luther King Day is about celebrating the memory of a man who dedicated his life to creating and fostering equal rights for African Americans. (Submitted photo)

January 15 is Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, a federal holiday and a day of remembrance. Martin Luther King, Jr., dedicated his life to creating and fostering equal rights for African Americans, and he died during his efforts to make his dream a reality.

Diversity of skills, knowledge, and perspective is what you want when putting together a strong team. In a way, America is a super team of diverse members, all of whom dream of prosperity and success. Many people honor Martin Luther King, Jr., for dedicating his life to showing us that diversity is a strength.

Social Security's "People Like Me" website has custom information for preparing for your future. Our diverse country is made up of countless backgrounds, ethnicities, and nationalities, yet we all want the same thing — a secure future. You can see the many diverse people we serve at

Younger people need to know that the earlier you start saving, the more your money can grow. Our website for young workers at has many resources that can help you secure today and tomorrow.

Veterans and wounded warriors, as well as their families, sometimes face unique obstacles when saving for their future. Our website has great resources and information at

Social Security values your diverse skill set and knowledge. That's what makes our country a world leader. Now you can take the lead and show your friends and family what Social Security has to offer.

Questions & Answers

Question: When a person who has worked and paid Social Security taxes dies, are benefits payable on that person's record?

Answer: Social Security survivors benefits can be paid to:

• A widow or widower — unreduced benefits at full retirement age, or reduced benefits as early as age 60;

• A disabled widow or widower — as early as age 50;

• A widow or widower at any age if he or she takes care of the deceased's child who is under age 16 or disabled, and receiving Social Security benefits;

• Unmarried children under 18, or up to age 19 if they are attending high school full time.

• Under certain circumstances, benefits can be paid to stepchildren, grandchildren or adopted children;

• Children at any age who were disabled before age 22 and remain disabled; and

• Dependent parents age 62 or older.

Even if you are divorced, you still may qualify for survivors benefits. For more information, go to

Question: What is the current maximum amount of taxable earnings for Social Security for 2018?

Answer: For 2018, the highest amount of earnings on which you must pay Social Security tax is $128,700. We raise this amount yearly to keep pace with increases in average wages. There is no maximum earnings amount for Medicare tax. You must pay Medicare tax on all of your earnings.

Question: I work in retirement. How much can I earn in 2018 and still collect full Social Security retirement benefits?

Answer: Social Security uses the formulas below, depending on your age, to determine how much you can earn before we must reduce your benefit:

• If you are younger than full retirement age: $1 in benefits will be deducted for each $2 you earn above the annual limit of $17,040 for 2018.

• In the year you reach your full retirement age: $1 in benefits will be deducted for each $3 you earn above $45,360/year in 2018, but we count only earnings before the month you reach full retirement age.

• Starting with the month you reach full retirement age: you will get your benefits with no limit on your earnings.

Find out your full retirement age at