Can I Work and Also Get Social Security Benefits?

Can I Work and Also Get Social Security Benefits?

Working as long as possible is a great way to stay young and improve your retirement finances!

work and social security

Yes, you can get Social Security retirement benefits and work at the same time.

No Penalties if You Have Reached Your “Full Retirement Age”

If you were born between January 2, 1943, and December 31, 1954, your full retirement age for retirement insurance benefits is 66.

Year of BirthFull Retirement AgeMonths Between Age 62 and Full Retirement
195566 and 2 months50
195666 and 4 months52
195766 and 6 months54
195866 and 8 months56
195966 and 10 months58
19606760
Source: Starting Your Retirement Benefits Early, retrieved August 7, 2020

If you work and are full retirement age or older, you may keep all of your benefits, no matter how much you earn.

Penalties Might Be Applied

According to the Social Security Administration’s publication How Work Affects Your Benefits, if you are younger than full retirement age and earn more than certain amounts, your Social Security benefits will be reduced. It is important to note, though, that these benefit reductions are not truly lost.

The good news is that your benefit will be increased at your full retirement age to account for benefits withheld due to earlier earnings.

If you are younger than full retirement age, there is a limit to how much you can earn and still receive full Social Security benefits. If you are younger than full retirement age during all of 2020, the SSA deducts $1 from your benefits for each $2 you earned above $18,240.

If you reach full retirement age during 2020, the SSA deducts $1 from your benefits for each $3 you earn above $48,600 until the month you reach full retirement age.

Do You Need to Work? Should You Delay Social Security?

Two of the most important questions everyone needs to ask themselves are:

  • How long do I need to work?
  • When should I start Social Security?

The answer will be complex. However, here are a few tools that should help make planning easier.

You might want to use a comprehensive retirement calculator. The NewRetirement Retirement Calculator lets you try different scenarios and immediately see the impact on your future.

If you are only worried about maximizing the total amount you get from Social Security, try the Social Security Break Even Calculator.

NewRetirement Planner

Do it yourself retirement planning: easy, comprehensive, reliable