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!
Yes, you can get Social Security retirement benefits and work at the same time.
No Penalties if You Passed 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 Birth||Full Retirement Age||Months Between Age 62 and Full Retirement|
|1955||66 and 2 months||50|
|1956||66 and 4 months||52|
|1957||66 and 6 months||54|
|1958||66 and 8 months||56|
|1959||66 and 10 months||58|
If you work and are over your full retirement age, 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 or at 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 $18,960.
If you reach full retirement age and start claiming, the SSA deducts $1 from your benefits for each $3 you earn above $50,520 until the month you reach full retirement age.
These figures are up-to-date as of 2021.
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.
The NewRetirement Planner has built-in capabilities to model how the above penalty may affect your Social Security benefits. Just plug in your desired work income, when you plan to work, and when you plan to claim Social Security and see how it affects your overall retirement income.
If you are only worried about maximizing the total amount you get from Social Security, try the Social Security Break Even Calculator.