How Much Can I Earn In 2020 And Still Collect Social Security
In 2020, the yearly limit is $18,240. During the year in which you reach full retirement age, the SSA will deduct $1 for every $3 you earn above the annual limit. For 2020, the limit is $48,600. The good news is only the earnings before the month in which you reach your full retirement age will be counted.
How Social Security Affects Early Retirement
The Social Security Administration uses your birth year to determine what it calls your “full retirement age.” In other words, the definition of early retirement depends on when you were born.
One quirk to this system is that those born January 1 are counted as part of the previous year. So if you were born Jan. 1, 1960, you should refer to the full retirement age for those born in 1959.
Check the chart below for a full list of standard, or “full,” retirement years by birth year.
|Full Retirement Age by Birth Year|
|1960 or later||67|
SSA refers to the standard retirement age as “full retirement age” because that is the age at which you receive your full amount of benefits. The benefits will be reduced by a certain percentage, depending on how early you begin taking your benefits. You can retire earlier, but you will receive a reduced benefit. The earliest you can receive any amount is 62, no matter your birth year.
On the other hand, you can delay receiving Social Security benefitseven after you’ve retiredand receive enhanced benefits. You can continue to enhance your benefits by delaying Social Security until age 70 . As with benefit reductions, the amount your delayed benefits will increase depends on your birth year.
To delay your Social Security benefits, you would need to use your own assets for income in the meantime. With careful planning, this strategy can get you substantially more lifetime income than taking benefits early.
Whats Full Retirement Age
Full retirement age is when youre eligible to receive full Social Security benefits. Your full retirement age depends on your birth year: Under current law, if you were born in 1951 or later, your full retirement age is now some point after age 65all the way up to age 67 for those born after 1959. If you were born before 1951, youve already reached age 66 and full retirement age.
Retirement ages for full Social Security benefits
If you were born in
Your full retirement age is
1950 or earlier
When Can I Start Collecting Social Security
The minimum age to claim benefits is 62. If you are turning 62 and need the income from Social Security to support yourself, then you can start claiming your benefits now. However, if you have enough other income to keep you going until you are older, then you may want to delay to increase the size of your monthly benefit.
Spouses Who Dont Qualify For Their Own Social Security
Spouses who didnt work at a paid job or didnt earn enough credits to qualify for Social Security on their own are eligible to receive benefits starting at age 62 based on their spouses record. As with claiming benefits on your own record, your spousal benefit will be reduced if you take it before reaching your FRA. The highest spousal benefit that you can receive is half of the benefit that your spouse is entitled to at their FRA.
While spouses get a lower benefit if they claim before reaching their own FRA, they will not get a larger spousal benefit by waiting to claim after their FRAsay, at age 70. However, a nonworking or lower-earning spouse may get a larger spousal benefit if the working spouse has some late-career, high-earning years that boost their benefits.
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When Can I Get Social Security
The earliest you can start receiving Social Security benefits is age 62. But the earlier you elect to receive your benefits, the smaller your monthly checks will be. To receive full benefits, you will have to avoid collecting Social Security until you reach your full retirement age. For people born in 1960 or later, that age is 67.
If you decide to retire early, you have the option of delaying your Social Security benefits. This strategy may work particularly well for married couples.
Early Benefits Can Still Pay Off
However, taking early benefits can still pay off despite the reduced monthly check. But youll want to be sure you budget for a reduced benefit.
No one can predict how long youll live, but if youre facing a potentially significant reduction in life expectancy and are short of income, taking Social Security early may be appropriate, says Neiser.
Married women are also good candidates for claiming early benefits because they are likely to outlive their husbands. Those widows then become eligible to receive the greater of either their benefit or their late husbands benefit.
However, this scenario works only if the husband does not claim his benefits early. By not claiming early benefits, the husband effectively increases the monthly benefit his wife eventually receives. So youll want to calculate how filing early will affect your spousal benefit here.
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What Is My Full Retirement Age
Full retirement age for future beneficiaries will fall between the ages of 66 and 67. This is the age at which you can expect a full, unreduced benefit from Social Security. If you delay filing for benefits until after your full retirement age, you can expect a benefits increase of up to 8% per year until you reach age 70.
How Much Money Can I Make When I Retire At 62
If you start benefits between the month you turn 62 and the month you reach full retirement age, the Social Security Administration will deduct one dollar from your annual benefit amount for every two dollars you make above an annual limit. As of 2019, this limit is $17,640 per year or $1,470 a month.
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Special Rule As You Approach Full Retirement Age
If you are already receiving your retirement benefits, a special higher earnings limit applies in the calendar year you turn your full retirement age . If you will reach full retirement age in 2021, you can earn up to $4,210 per month without losing any of your benefits, up until the month you turn 66. But for every $3 you earn over that amount in any month, you will lose $1 in Social Security benefits. Beginning in the month you reach full retirement age, you become eligible to earn any amount without penalty.
If you are self-employed, you may receive full benefits for any month during this first year in which you did not perform what Social Security considers “substantial services.” The usual test for whether you worked substantial services is whether you worked in your business more than 45 hours during the month . In other words, if you work in your business more than 45 hours in a month, Social Security may reduce your benefit.
How To Stop Social Security Check Payments
The SSA can not pay benefits for the month of a recipients death. That means if the person died in July, the check received in August must be returned. Find out how to return a check to the SSA.
If the payment is by direct deposit, notify the financial institution as soon as possible so it can return any payments received after death. For more about the requirement to return benefits for the month of a beneficiarys death, see the top of page 11 of this SSA publication.
Family members may be eligible for Social Security survivors benefits when a person getting benefits dies. Visit the SSAs Survivors Benefits page to learn more.
Early Retirement And Social Security Payments
If youre wondering how much youll get from Social Security, you can check out our Social Security calculator. It estimates how much youll earn depending on your annual income, the year you were born and when you choose to start receiving benefits.
Social Security benefits are also calculated based on your highest 35 years of earnings. Thats how the Social Security Administration comes up with your average monthly indexed earnings . If you retire too early , youll receive less Social Security. Thats the downside to an early retirement.
Lets take a closer look at how an early retirement could reduce the size of your Social Security check. If you retire early, your benefit gets reduced by 5/9 of 1% for each month you collect Social Security before your full retirement age . If you retire more than 36 months early, your Social Security benefit will be reduced by another 5/12 of 1% per extra month.
You’re Afraid Social Security Will End
Social Security is one of those benefits that’s supposed to be around forever. But the system is in trouble, and benefits may change in the future. That worries people of all ages.
While older peopleparticularly ones in or nearing retirement ageworry about the fate of Social Security, they likely won’t see much impact. Still, if the thought of losing out on Social Security benefits is keeping you up at night, it may be better to start claiming early or at full retirement age rather than to hold off for an increased benefit.
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Benefit Amounts Vary Depending On Your Social Security Retirement Age
Your Social Security retirement age and the amount you receive varies depending on several factors. For example, the earliest age you can collect your Social Security retirement benefits is 62, but there is an exception for widows and widowers, who can begin benefits as early as 60. If you start collecting benefits early and continue to work, your benefits may be reduced.
Here’s how this works with the basics on Social Security claiming ages from 60 to 70.
Full Retirement Age Vs Early Retirement Age
While understanding your full retirement age is a key part of the puzzle, its different from when you may start claiming Social Security benefits. Thats your early retirement age, which is 62 regardless of what year you were born. And while all Americans may start receiving benefits when they turn 62, doing so will decrease the amount of each monthly payment.
Heres a bit of the Social Security Administrations official jargon, which is essential for getting a complete picture of your benefits. Full retirement age is how old you must be to receive your full primary insurance amount , or the base-rate Social Security benefit youre eligible for given your lifetime earnings history.
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What To Consider Before Filing For Social Security
A larger benefit check sounds great, but there are tradeoffs, and soon-to-retire folks should consider multiple issues before they decide one way or the other on when to file. If you really want to consider all the avenues, then youll have to think about your finances and longevity two issues that people have a hard time grappling with.
But heres the key tradeoff: you can file early and take a reduced benefit, expecting that a shorter lifespan will mean you receive more now, or you could file at full retirement age or later and claim a bigger check, and eventually live long enough to claim more than the first approach.
Social Security is like longevity insurance, says Brent Neiser, a certified financial planner and former chair of the Consumer Advisory Board at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Its a stream of payments that will not stop throughout your life, so delaying your benefits to keep those payments as large as possible forms a helpful base to your retirement plan.
Neiser urges those who have not saved enough for retirement to use whatever means possible to postpone their Social Security benefits until after their full retirement age to help boost their future income.
You can use personal savings to help bridge the gap, but ideally you should plan to work a little longer , Neiser says.
Questions Regarding Social Security
If you have questions regarding Social Security, you may want to visit the Social Security Administration’s website at www.socialsecurity.gov to find your answers. If you prefer to speak to someone directly, the SSA is available to speak with callers Monday thru Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00p.m. The toll-free number is 800-772-1213.
What If I Change My Mind
If you receive Social Security benefits at a reduced rate, but then change your mind, you have the option of withdrawing your application and paying back to the government what you’ve already received . Then, you could restart benefits at a later date to take advantage of a higher payout. But you are limited to one withdrawal per lifetime.
For example, let’s say you elected to receive early benefits at age 62, but then decided to go back to work at age 63. You could withdraw your Social Security application within the first 12 months of receiving benefits, pay back the years worth of benefits you received, go back to work, and then wait until a later age to restart your benefit checks at a higher level.
For important details about repaying benefits please read the SSA publication If You Change Your Mind.
Bridge To Medicare At Age 65
Remember that while you are eligible for reduced Social Security benefits at 62, you won’t be eligible for Medicare until age 65, so you will probably have to pay for private health insurance in the meantime. That can eat up a large chunk of your Social Security payments.
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Working After Full Retirement Age Faq
Retirees may work while collecting Social Security benefits, but those younger than their FRA will be subject to the retirement earnings test .
Under this test, if your earnings exceed a certain limit , you will temporarily forfeit some or all of your benefits. Once you reach full retirement age, your benefit is recalculated and you may receive most of that money back.
How Does Full Retirement Age Affect Your Social Security Benefits
If you claim your benefits at full retirement age, you will receive your standard Social Security benefit amount. If you claim prior to FRA, you will be subject to early-filing penalties that reduce your benefit by the following amounts:
- 5/9 of 1% for each of the first 36 months before FRA
- 5/12 of 1% for each subsequent month before FRA
This amounts to a 6.7% annual reduction for each of the first three years and an additional 5% reduction for each following year before FRA. If you claim benefits at 62 with an FRA of 67, you will face a full 30% reduction in benefits.
By contrast, if you claim benefits after FRA, you receive delayed retirement credits valued at 2/3 of 1% per month. This results in an 8% annual increase to your monthly benefit. Delayed retirement credits can be earned until age 70, after which time there is no financial benefit to delaying your claim. Delayed retirement credits cannot be earned if you are claiming either spousal or survivor benefits.
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What If I Delay Taking My Benefits
If you retire sometime between your full retirement age and age 70, you typically earn a “delayed retirement” credit . For example, say you were born in 1951 and your full retirement age is 66. If you started your benefits at age 68, you would receive a credit of 8% per year multiplied by two . This makes your benefit 16% higher than the amount you would have received at age 66. .
That higher baseline lasts for the rest of your retirement, and serves as the basis for future increases linked to inflation. While its important to consider your personal circumstancesits not always possible to wait, particularly if you are in poor health or cant afford to delaythe benefits of waiting can be significant.
If you decide to wait past age 65, you may still need to sign up for Medicare. In some circumstancesyour Medicare coverage may be delayed and cost more if you do not sign up at age 65.
To review your situation, your annual Social Security statement will list your projected benefits at age 62, full retirement age, and age 70, assuming you continue to work and earn about the same amount until age 62, full retirement age, or age 70 before retiring. If you need a copy of your annual statement, you can request one from the Social Security Administration .
How Much Can I Earn If I Retire At 62 In 2021
Social Security beneficiaries who continue to work will be able to earn $720 more in 2021 before part of their Social Security benefit is temporarily withheld. Social Security recipients age 65 and younger can earn up to $18,960 in 2021 before a benefit dollar is withheld for every $2 earned above the limit.
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