Working While Receiving Social Security

December 22, 2011

Some view Social Security as their primary retirement plan.  The reality is that this program is a basic safety net that may not provide the financial resources needed for a comfortable retirement.
That said, since most are required to pay into the program it can be viewed as welcome supplement to retirement if nothing more.  There are several commonly asked questions that people who are engaged in retirement planning often ask.
The first question most people have involves the age of eligibility.  Qualified Americans who were born in 1954 and earlier reach full retirement age in a Social Security eligibility context on their 66th birthday.  The age of full eligibility then rises by two months per year through 1959. Anyone born after that becomes eligible to receive their full Social Security benefit when they reach 67.
Another question people often have is whether or not they can work while receiving Social Security. The answer is that once you reach the age of full eligibility you can indeed earn any amount of income and still collect your full benefit.
However, you don't have to wait until you reach your full eligibility age to begin receiving Social Security.  You can start receiving Social Security when you are as young as 62, but you receive a reduced benefit.  If you work before you reach full retirement age while you are receiving this reduced benefit your payout is cut by one dollar for every two dollars that you earn above a certain annual limit.  Right now that limit is $14,160.
The above information is accurate as of this writing but of course it is subject to change.  To review current information visit the following website.

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